Everton FC duo's joy after helping England under-17s to European Championship glory
June 1 2010 James Pearce
EVERTON starlets Ross Barkley and Luke Garbutt have revealed their delight at helping England under-17s to European Championship glory. The duo were among four Merseyside youngsters who played in Sunday’s impressive 2-1 final victory over favourites Spain in Liechtenstein. The Blues pair were joined by Liverpool's Conor Cody, who lifted the trophy as captain, and Andre Wisdom. It was the first time an England men’s team have landed a major trophy for 17 years. The last success was at the European Under-18 Championships in 1993 when the side included Robbie Fowler, Paul Scholes, Sol Campbell and Gary Neville. Left-back Garbutt, who joined Everton from Leeds last summer, added: “I’m buzzing. All the lads are really happy.
“I’d been booked towards the end of the game and I was just concentrating on their winger, not diving in and just showing him down the line so I didn’t know it was the end of the game. “But then I saw everyone rush towards the bench and then I think we all just went mental. It’s incredible.” It was also a special day for fellow Everton player Barkley. The young midfielder played a crucial role in the winning goal.
“I’m made up,” Barkley said. “We knew we had to settle it down towards the end. We had to stop their counter attacks and when we couldn’t, we just had to defend for our lives. “I was so relieved when the game ended. This could benefit our careers loads.”
Liverpool-born Coady said: “I’m just delighted with everything that’s happened.
“At the end I ran over to the dugout and slid on my knees and then I just got piled on and I couldn’t breathe. “It’s just unbelievable. I can’t believe we’ve done it. Lifting that trophy was just unreal. It’s everything I’ve dreamt about and I’m so proud to have done it. “I went up and I was shaking people’s hands and the fella gave me the trophy and I just thought ‘let’s get it up there!’ so I gave it a kiss and then just put it straight in the air. “I’ve loved every minute of this tournament and to captain the side as well, I’m just totally made up. “It’s been a great experience for us all and I think it will help us as players a few years down the line.” Wisdom enjoyed an eventful day as it was his own goal which put Spain ahead midway through the first half. However, the Leeds-born defender atoned eight minutes later when he headed in Josh McEachran’s corner. Highly-rated Ipswich striker Connor Wickham got the winner just after the break. Wisdom said: “Spain have got a very attacking team with some of the greatest players in the world at our age and playing against them was a great experience.
“Their goal took a little deflection off me but I forgot about it as soon as it happened because that’s what you’ve got to do as a defender. “Then, when the ball came in from Josh’s corner I thought ‘right, I’m getting my head on this’ and I’m just happy for the team. “I don’t score many goals but I just scored in the biggest game of my life so I think I went a bit crazy. Winning this trophy is my biggest achievement in the game. We’ve been away for three weeks, training hard and playing well and this is what we’ve achieved. It’s unreal.” Manager John Peacock paid tribute to his Merseyside quartet. Peacock said: “I’m absolutely delighted for the players because they’ve worked so hard and the spirit has been first class. “It means a lot to the English game. We’ve got our critics – that we’re not producing players. I think we have produced many good players in this tournament. “What was missing was a trophy that we can put our name to. We’ve done that now. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 17 years for another one.”
Jermaine Beckford can’t wait for new season to prove Everton FC doubters wrong
Jun 1 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
FOR a player with pace to burn, it’s no surprise when Jermaine Beckford says he wants to hit the ground running with Everton. After applying the finishing touches to a four-year deal with the Blues, the former Leeds United hotshot quickly turned his sights to continuing a prolific goalscoring record that prompted a host of top clubs to sit up and take notice. While Aston Villa, West Ham, and Newcastle were all said to be in the hunt for Beckford’s signature, word had also spread as far as Serie A from where Parma were known to be sending admiring glances. Named the League One player of the year in 2007/08 and 2009/10, the intervening season saw Beckford scoop the division’s golden boot courtesy of the 34 goals he scored; an Elland Road best since the heady days of John Charles some 56 years ago. Just three less last season took his tally to 85 in 149 appearances for Leeds. With a ratio like that, Beckford has been tipped for bigger and better things for some time. Now it’s arrived, he intends to take it with both feet. “I’ve been fortunate enough to score goals at every club I’ve been at,” said the 26-year-old, who completed his free transfer to Goodison yesterday.
“Hopefully I can bring that with me to Everton and hit the ground running.”
The last of Beckford’s goals for Leeds was the one that finally saw them clinch promotion on the last day of the season. Already down to 10 men, Leeds then went a goal behind to Bristol Rovers. However, spurred on by their captain for the day, Beckford, they got back into it before the top scorer grabbed the winner to seal promotion. For a player whose effort and attitude have at times been questioned by the Leeds support, it was an inspired piece of man-management by manager Simon Grayson to hand Beckford the armband. After meeting David Moyes at the weekend, the striker believes he will take similar inspiration from working with a manager who has been noted for polishing several rough diamonds during his eight years on Merseyside. “I believe everything happens for a reason,” said Beckford of his last ditch salvo. “You’ve just got to live with the cards that you’re dealt. “We did pretty well in the end. “I was delighted to help Leeds gain promotion. “The club, the fans, everyone there was superb. But now I am excited to be at Everton. “I’m impressed with David Moyes, very much so. He seems like the kind of guy who will talk to you and show you where you’re going right or wrong, what you’re doing well or what you need to improve on. “Everton is a club I feel I can learn at and hopefully develop further into a better player. Fingers crossed I’ll be involved in taking the club to where it wants to be.” Beckford could be described as a slow burner. After being released by Chelsea as a teenager he drifted down into non-League football with Wealdstone.
An excellent strike rate meant he soon attracted the interest of league clubs.
Leeds were first to pounce, paying the Middlesex club what proved to be a snip at £45,000 while fending off interest from a number of other Championship and League One clubs, including Crystal Palace. Loan spells at Carlisle and Scunthorpe came before Beckford finally cemented a first team place at Elland Road, since when he has never looked back. There are those who are judging him already, though, questioning whether Beckford can cut it in the Premier League. “He’ll be another Marcus Bent,” came the blunt assessment from one internet forum member. “Give the lad a chance,” responded another.
The player himself admits stepping up two divisions will be a test of his ability but one he has been waiting for.
“I’m excited and looking forward to it,” said Beckford. “It’s going to be a test of course. But I want to test myself at the highest possible level. “Luckily for me David Moyes has shown an interest. He has shown faith in me. Hopefully I’ll be able to repay that.” Beckford has had to take a backwards step before climbing to the top again. His journey back to the Premier League has not always been straightforward. While Everton were securing a Champions League place five years ago, their new striker was repairing car windscreens to help make ends meet. Rather than drop his head, he says it was his love for football that kept him going. Now, after months of speculation about his future, Beckford is delighted to have been handed another crack at top-flight football. “Did I ever let my head go down? Not at all,” he insists. “I’ve just always enjoyed and love playing football. “Things like my being released by Chelsea are a setback, but if you love doing something you should never let anything stop you from doing it. I didn’t. I just continued to play and I am where I am now.
“Now I know exactly where I’m going to be next season and just need to get my head ready for it. I’m looking forward to the test. “I’ve met a few of the players already at Finch Farm. They’ve made me feel really welcome. Now I’m just looking forward to meeting the rest of the squad. I can’t wait to get going. I wish the season started tomorrow.”
Ex-Liverpool FC left back Stephen Warnock gets World Cup 2010 nod over Everton's Leighton Baines
Jun 1 2010
EVERTON'S Leighton Baines has been overlooked by Fabio Capello for the finalised England squad of 23 players who will travel to South Africa for the World Cup.
Kirkby-born Baines featured in two of England's last three friendly games against Egypt and Mexico but was left out of the squad with Capello favouring Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock. Warnock, born in Ormskirk, made 67 appearances for Liverpool between 2004 and 2007 before moving to Blackburn Rovers - he joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2009, having made his only England appearance as a substitute in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago in May 2008. Everton legend Graeme Sharp has reacted to the news of Baines' omission with disappointment. "I think it is very disappointing and I think Leighton will be disappointed," Sharp said. "He got himself involved in the set up simply because his form was that good. "He has lost his place to Stephen Warnock and I may be biased but I think Leighton Baines is a better option.
Manchester City deny any interest in signing Everton FC's Johnny Heitinga
Jun 1 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
MANCHESTER CITY have no interest in signing Johnny Heitinga.
In response to comments attributed to the Everton player that appeared as a come and get me plea to City manager Roberto Mancini, the Eastlands club are said to be “bemused by Heitinga’s claims they are tracking him.” The ECHO reported yesterday how in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Heitinga said: “City are a club with big ambitions’ and that he has ‘the door open for a big club.” City, however, have distanced themselves from any move for Heitinga and instead continue to pursue other targets including Aston Villa midfielder James Milner, Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko and Hamburg centre-back Jerome Boateng. Heitinga was signed by David Moyes from Atletico Madrid for an initial fee of £6million last August following Joleon Lescott’s drawn out departure to Eastlands. The Everton manager was angered by City’s conduct throughout the Lescott affair and will now want answers from Heitinga regarding the Dutchman’s comments. Heitinga was named in Holland’s 23-man World Cup squad last week, where he is joined by City’s Nigel de Jong.
The fact he has suggested he would be keen to link up with De Jong at club level too will not go down well at Goodison where Heitinga has quickly become a fans’ favourite following an impressive debut season in the Premier League.
Although Heitinga went on to add that he is happy at Everton while pointing out he has a four-year contract “without any get-out clause in it,” Moyes is unlikely to be pleased about what will be interpreted as one of his players putting himself in the shop window ahead of the World Cup. The Blues boss already has a fight on his hands to tie South African playmaker Steven Pienaar to a new contract, plus there has been speculation about a host of clubs pursuing Mikel Arteta. Moyes has been clear about his plans to keep the nucleus of his squad together as he aims to build on the excellent progress shown in the second half of last season. An 11-game unbeaten run in the league saw Everton narrowly miss out on a Europa League place. One player who will not be heading to South Africa this summer is Victor Anichebe. The Blues striker has been left out of Nigeria’s 23-man World Cup squad. Joseph Yobo and Yakubu have been included as expected. Anichebe was always a wildcard for Super Eagles manager Lars Lagerback having been sidelined for 11 months following a serious knee injury sustained against Newcastle in February last year. Hope was provided however when he was included in Lagerback’s provisional 30-man squad.
Jermaine Beckford's arrival at Everton throws Yakubu's Goodison Park future into doubt
Jermaine Beckford has cast doubt over Yakubu’s future at Everton by completing a free transfer to Goodison Park from Leeds United.
By Mark Ogden
Beckford, 26, has signed a four-year deal after running down his contract at Elland Road following Leeds’ promotion from League One last month.
But the arrival of the former RAC windscreen fitter at Goodison has increased the likelihood of Everton manager David Moyes off-loading Yakubu, the Nigeria forward who has been plagued by injuries since his £11.25m signing from Middlesbrough in Aug 2007. West Ham are understood to be interested in Yakubu and Moyes is unlikely to resist offers for the 27-year-old. Everton have beaten off competition from Newcastle to sign Beckford, however, following his 31 goals for Leeds last season.
Beckford’s strike in the 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford highlighted his ability to perform at the highest level and the player says he is determined to prove his calibre in the Premier League. He said: “I want to test myself at the highest level and luckily for me, David Moyes showed an interest in me, showed some faith in me and hopefully I can repay that. “It’s a club that I think I can learn from and it can help me develop into a better player.” Everton have been linked with the Monaco striker Park Chu-young, but the South Korea forward insists he is keen to stay at Stade Louis II. Park said: “I’m happy at Monaco and the club have looked after me well. I don’t feel like leaving soon.”
Everton FC: Fans' forum
Jun 2 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
I AM in total agreement with the Everton management and the ECHO that Everton should not be held to ransom by Steven Pienaar and his agent Ivan Modia. I cannot truly believe that, having come to Everton as a virtual non-entity, and with all Everton have done to really develop his talents, that he and his agent are holding the club to ransom with different tactical plans for “before and after the World Cup”. He is obviously NOT a steadfast Blue and is only in it for the money, unlike Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman (and hopefully Mikel Arteta), who all truly believe in the potential forthcoming “greatness” of the new Everton. It is the culture, the history, the manager and the team “togetherness” which indicates that the future appears extremely bright. If Pienaar cannot recognise these factors, Everton should let him go to the highest bidder. We received a great price for Joleon Lescott and he has not done all that well since he left us. I believe we could get as much as £15 million for Pienaar with which we could sign a classy attacking midfielder who I feel sure would show more dedication and loyalty than Pienaar is showing recently, and could develop into an even more cultured player with the great manager and lads of Everton behind him.
Don Hackworth (Everton supporter for 70 years),Great Sutton
IT’S rumour mill time again! I do love a summer of transfer gossip, and my favourite day of the year has to be transfer deadline day. This year will be no different. Well done to David Moyes for bringing in Jermaine Beckford. Here are some of my further suggestions – if Steven Pienaar leaves, may we look at Stephen Ireland or Joe Cole.
Another from a lower division – Welsh wizard Joe Ledley. Charles N’Zogbia also had a great year at Wigan. Losing Pienaar would be damaging, of course, but we will survive! King Louis is not what he once was, unfortunately, but there are men out there who play up top – John Carew, Clint Dempsey that may well be available.
At the back, Nedum Onuha and Micah Richards are quality players.
Bring back Landon Donovan please! I know we are all asking where will the money come from? Perhaps letting go Joseph Yobo, Louis Saha and Pienaar, and what we do have available could make some of these deals happen.
A Parry, Bootle
LEIGHTON BAINES is very unlucky to miss out on the England World Cup squad.
He has proven to be an excellent attacking full-back for us and very useful when it comes to set-pieces. He certainly would be odds-on to find the net if England had been in a penalty shoot-out. I hope Leighton is not too downhearted and uses this disappointing moment in his career as a positive and next season shows Fabio Capello how wrong he was not to take him in his final 23.
World Cup:A Look at and Everton FC players taking part
Jun 2 2010
So the waiting game is over. The days of lounging around luxury hotels, biting nails and saying prayers have come to an end. For 736 lucky players, June 1 was the day their family holidays could be officially shelved, and their World Cup summer confirmed.
For others, such as Leighton Baines and Victor Anichebe, June’s beginning brings only heartache and disappointment. Axed from England and Nigeria’s final squads, the Everton duo will be hoping they can bounce back from missing out on the biggest stage in world football. At least they came closer than Mikel Arteta and Lucas Leiva, who were barely even considered by Spain and Brazil respectively. Nevertheless, despite those omissions, Merseyside will be well represented in South Africa.
TIM CAHILL (AUSTRALIA) - 38 CAPS/19 GOALS
Australia’s talisman as well as Everton’s, Cahill will spearhead the Socceroos’ attack. Twice a goalscorer in Germany four years ago, we can expect to see some more shadow boxing in South Africa.
STEVEN PIENAAR (SOUTH AFRICA) - 46 CAPS/2 GOALS
Everton’s Player of the Year, and South Africa’s great hope – no pressure then! The 28-year-old will look to wow his home crowd as he has the Premier League. Pienaar’s future at Goodison Park is uncertain, but his talent is undoubted.
TIM HOWARD (USA) - 50 CAPS/0 GOALS
May not have cut it at Manchester United, but at Everton Howard has emerged as one of English football’s finest goalkeepers. Unused four years ago in Germany, the 31-year-old will be vital for Bob Bradley this time round.
JOSEPH YOBO (NIGERIA) - 68 CAPS/5 GOALS
A star of the 2002 tournament, Yobo will be looking to repeat the trick eight years on. Not enjoyed a particularly good season personally, but will captain his country with typical enthusiasm.
YAKUBU (NIGERIA) - 52 CAPS/19 GOALS
Has struggled for fitness after a serious achilles injury, but has an undoubted goalscoring pedigree. Should form a strong partnership with former Newcastle star Obafemi Martins.
JOHN HEITINGA (NETHERLANDS) - 51 CAPS/6 GOALS
One of the signings of the season, the versatile Dutchman has shone in defence and midfield for David Moyes, and should start for Bert Van Marwijk. This will be the 26-year-old’s fourth major international tournament.
JAN MUCHA (SLOVAKIA) - 14 CAPS/0 GOALS
Signed to provide cover and competition for Tim Howard next season, Everton fans will be able to grab a first glimpse of Mucha as he keeps goal for Slovakia this summer.
Mystery over Everton FC striker Victor Anichebe’s World Cup omission
Jun 2 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
MYSTERY surrounds Victor Anichebe’s omission from Nigeria’s World Cup squad today. According to a statement from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) the Everton striker was left out of Lars Lagerback’s final 23-man party because of injury.
Sources at Everton, however, are unaware of any serious problems with Anichebe.
Initially it appeared the 22-year-old had simply been overlooked, despite his man-of-the-match display in a warm-up match against Saudi Arabia last month after being named in Nigeria’s provisional 30-man squad. However Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, the chairman of the technical committee at the NFF, is reported to have said Anichebe was left out due to a ‘cracked chin’. “He (Anichebe) was substituted in the game against Saudi Arabia because of injury,” said Ogunjobi. “When he went for a scan in Liverpool, it revealed a cracked chin which would take time to heal, and the coach hadno option but to drop him.” Everton are bemused by the reports and have confirmed Anichebe only has a bruised shin, not a cracked chin as initially reported.
While Nigeria’s diagnosis appears to have been confused in translation, the severity of any injury – or lack of – fails to explain why Anichebe will not be travelling to South Africa. His omission has been unpopular with Super Eagles supporters who expected Anichebe to join Everton team-mates Joseph Yobo and Yakubu in Lagerback’s final squad. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s departure for South Africa has been delayed after problems with the plane that was due to take them from Stansted on Monday night following their 1-1 draw with Colombia at stadiummk in Milton Keynes.
Anichebe played no part in that game. He is said to be devastated at missing out on a dream trip to the World Cup.
Everton FC defender Leighton Baines misses out on World Cup
Jun 2 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON BAINES’ World Cup dream was brought to an abrupt end when he was left out of England’s World Cup squad. The Everton left-back was a surprise omission from Fabio Capello’s final 23-man squad to travel to South Africa. He received the news from the Italian by telephone yesterday. Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock has been included as cover for Ashley Cole instead. Former Liverpool defender Warnock got the nod over Baines despite having played just six minutes of international football – as a substitute in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago two years ago – and not featuring in either of England’s recent warm-up games against Mexico and Japan. Former Wigan man Baines was thought to be ahead of Warnock in the pecking order having played against Egypt and Mexico in warm-up friendlies.
However, Capello is said to have been impressed with Ormskirk-born Warnock in training and with his performances for Villa over the past season. Baines, too, has had a solid campaign for Everton but his frank revelation that he could struggle with homesickness if he spent six weeks away from his family could have swayed Capello’s decision. "Everyone wants to be a part of England, to come away and play," said Baines, who has two young children. "But I have always found it really hard, even when I was a teenager, being away from home. "I have always struggled with it, it's quite tough, but the more time you spend around the lads, the more you begin to feel part of everything.”
Doubts over mental strength cost Everton FC’s Leighton Baines his place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup England squad
Jun 2 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
LEIGHTON BAINES will miss the World Cup after doubts were raised over his mental strength to cope with England’s venture to South Africa.
The Everton defender discovered his fate yesterday after Fabio Capello trimmed his 30-man preliminary squad to the 23 that will fly out to Rustenburg this evening.
Baines received the dreaded phone call from Capello to inform him Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock would instead be selected as understudy to first-choice left-back Ashley Cole. It was something of a surprise given Baines had started two of England’s last three games while Warnock has only eight minutes of international experience after a late substitute appearance in a friendly in Trinidad and Tobago two years ago.
But Baines endured a difficult evening in the friendly against Mexico nine days ago, posting a nervous performance after which he admitted to suffering from homesickness following a week’s training camp in Austria. And it is believed concerns over the player’s ability to contend with up to six weeks in South Africa had played a part in the decision of the England coaching staff to cut Baines from the final squad. Speaking after the Mexico game, Baines had said: “Everyone wants to be a part of England, to come away and play, but I have always found it really hard, even when I was a teenager, being away from home. “I have always struggled with it, that’s quite tough, but the more time you spend around the lads, the more you begin to feel part of everything. “There’s a different kind of pressure when you play at international level.
“You are representing the whole of your country, but you are probably closer to the people at club level who you deal with every day. They know you better.”
Baines joined Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson, Scott Parker, Darren Bent, Adam Johnson and surprise omission Theo Walcott as one of the unlucky seven to be dropped by Capello. Victor Anichebe was this week another to be culled from his country’s final World Cup squad after being left out of Nigeria’s final 23-man party.
But there were mixed messages yesterday over the reason for the striker’s exclusion from Swedish manager Lars Lagerback’s squad. Reports from Nigeria suggested Anichebe was omitted because of a fractured shin suffered in last week’s warm-up friendly against Saudi Arabia. However, Everton sought to clarify the situation by stating the injury was nothing more serious than a bruised shin. Taiwo Ogunjobi, chairman of Nigeria’s technical committee, said earlier: “He was substituted in the game against Saudi Arabia because of injury. “When he went for a scan in Liverpool, it revealed a cracked shin which would take time to heal, and the coach had no option but to drop him.” Joseph Yobo and Yakubu have already been confirmed in the Nigeria squad, meaning Everton will have six players at the World Cup finals – the highest total in the club’s history – with John Heitinga (Holland), Tim Cahill (Australia), Tim Howard (United States) and Steven Pienaar (South Africa) also travelling. Goalkeeper Jan Mucha, who will arrive at Goodison on a free transfer in the summer, will also participate for Slovakia.
Man City, Spurs, Everton and Sunderland chase Benfica hitman Cardozo
June 2 2010, Daily Mirror
A quartet of Premier League clubs are chasing Oscar Cardozo, but will have to shell out in excess of £20million to land the Benfica hitman. Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton, and Sunderland are all mentioned as potential suitors according to Portuguese daily A Bola, for the man who hit 26 goals in 28 league appearances last season. However, the English clubs will face stiff competition to land the towering striker from Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, and Besiktas, who are all tracking the forward.
The 27-year-old Paraguayan has a £50million release clause in his contract, but the Benfica hierarchy are willing to negotiate after Cardozo has indicated his desire to move on from the Portuguese champions.
Why are there no top Scouse goalkeepers?
Jun 3 2010 by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
IF you were to assemble a dream team consisting of the great players to have come out of Merseyside, you would have quite a job on your hands. From Dixie Dean to Steven Gerrard, with a smattering of Peter Reid, Ian Callaghan, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler, and not to mention Terry McDermott, Colin Harvey, Jamie Carragher, Tommy Smith or Brian Labone, there is a hefty pool of talent to choose from.
Yet for all the goals and flair, the midfield grit and defensive steel, one area of a Merseyside dream XI is patently lacking. And it’s a pretty important one.
Though both Liverpool and Everton have a great history with goalkeepers – think Ray Clemence and Neville Southall for starters, or current custodians Pepe Reina and Tim Howard – the list thins dramatically when it comes to those born and raised in the city.
Not since Bootle-born Andy Rankin, who acted as understudy for Everton legend Gordon West in the 1960s, has a Scouse keeper made more than 10 first-team appearances for the Reds or the Blues. Liverpool goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero highlights the problem. “It is hard in England to find goalkeepers at any club that have progressed through the system,” he said. “It is not just a problem for us.”
Liverpool’s situation is indicative. Behind Reina, the Reds’ next four goalkeepers – Diego Cavalieri, Peter Gulacsi, Martin Hansen and Dean Bouzanis – are all imports.
Even Academy prospect Deale Chamberlain hails from outside the city, having been born and raised in the Midlands, and plucked from the grasp of Aston Villa as a youngster. And that is before we even consider those to have come and gone at Anfield over the past decade or so. None of Scott Carson, Jerzy Dudek, Chris Kirkland, Sander Westerveld, Pegguy Arphexad, Brad Friedel or David James spoke with a Scouse twang. Nor did Ray Clemence, Bruce Grobbelaar, Tommy Lawrence or Elisha Scott before them. Everton, too, have been forced to look outside the city boundaries for someone to mind their net. Their greatest ever keeper, Southall, came from Llandudno, and under David Moyes alone they have recruited from Cornwall (Nigel Martyn), Cambridge (John Ruddy), Stirling (Iain Turner) and New Jersey (Howard). Certainly there seems to be some kind of phobia of goalkeeping gloves on Merseyside. Is it the Scouse youngster’s burning desire to become the next Gerrard, or Fowler, or Rooney? Their aversion to dirtying their best clothes? Is it the coaching offered to young players? Or it is simply down to the tremendous pressure of the role?
Either way, it is surprising to note that neither Liverpool nor Everton have ever housed a Scouse-born, first-choice goalkeeper. It is not even as if plenty of local keepers are being discarded either. Sure, Tony Warner – nicknamed ‘Bonus’ by his teammates due to his lack of minutes but abundance of win bonuses – spent nine years at Anfield in the 1990s, while Paul Harrison briefly flirted with the first-team during the crossover from Gerard Houllier to Rafa Benitez but, as a rule, the talent just doesn’t seem to be there. Yet Valero, who replaced Jose Ochotorena at Anfield in 2007, believes that the Reds’ Academy – significantly revamped by Rafa Benitez last summer – should soon be in a position to produce home-grown goalkeepers, and highlights the importance of players ‘in touch’ with the identity of the club.
He adds: “We hope that in a few years’ time, our system at Liverpool will be producing enough goalkeepers so eventually we don’t have to look outside the club to sign one for the first team. “The challenge for every coach at the club is to nurture a young player in every position. The identity of the club is very important, and local boys understand what Liverpool is all about more than anybody. It is our aim to get more local players into the first team.” Valero also believes the problem with developing home-grown keepers lies mainly in the pressures and demands associated with top-level goalkeeping. “To find a good goalkeeper is not easy,” he says, “And to find one who is willing to play only three or four games is extremely difficult. You need somebody who is always ready; technically, tactically and mentally.
“From a goalkeeping perspective, the education has to start with the recruitment of the right players. From there it is a long process to the first-team, but we have to believe this is possible because it is the future of Liverpool.”
Ex-Everton FC striker Tony Cottee unveils his goal-scoring exploits on DVD
Jun3 3 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
A REGULAR and reliable goalpoacher – or a flat track bully?
A predatory marksman who justified his mantle as Britain’s most expensive footballer, or selfish and sedentary? Like most goalscorers, Tony Cottee divided opinion. But it’s worth pointing out that no-one has even come close to matching his 99 goal haul at Everton in the 16 years since he left. Tim Cahill tops the current Goodison goalscorers’ ranks with 56, while Duncan Ferguson managed 72 in his two stints spread over the best part of a decade. Tony Cottee scored 99 in his 206 starts, including six hat-tricks, and was top scorer in five of his six seasons at Goodison.
And the vast bulk of those Everton strikes are on his new DVD release “Tony Cottee’s Career Goals.” A man for whom goalscoring was his raison d’etre – he has tracked down video footage of 252 of his 306 career strikes including even some from his spell in Malaysia at Selangor – and it makes for a surprisingly entertaining compilation package. Introduced and concluded in trademark fashion by Russell Brand, there are plenty of entertaining interludes from unexpected individuals – Ray Winstone, Mike Parry and Alan Shearer. “We were alike in many ways. We each had three main clubs. Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle for me, West Ham, Everton and Leicester for Tony, and we only won one trophy each, but we did our job didn’t we? “I think most goalscorers will tell you they don’t know how they end up in the box when the ball falls to them. They just do it instinctively. I did it, and Tony did it too!” It’s the goals, of course, which make up the bulk of the action, though, and Evertonians won’t be disappointed. There’s even a shot of Cottee scoring at Goodison two years before he signed for the Blues – rarely seen footage of the 1985/86 West Ham clash, with Cottee outpacing Gary Stevens (yes, really), before being denied by “Bobby Simms!” (sic). His goal, a 90th minute tap-in, was “my 20th league goal of the season. I had never got 20 goals before, so it was a crucial goal for me.” and that sentence underlines Cottee’s football philosophy, one that often saw him fall foul of managers and some team-mates. “He was a poacher. He wasn’t one of those who worked his socks off down the channels. But he knew where the goal was,” said Howard Kendall. While popular kitman Jimmy ‘Gonzo’ Martin added: “He was like a Lineker. He didn’t want to do a lot of running.” Strangely, radio presenter and well known Evertonian Mike Parry added: “He also had a very very high workrate which was something appreciated by Everton fans.” That’s goalscorers for you. They divide opinion. There are some stunning Everton strikes – the hat-trick against Newcastle and the 34-second opener, a beautifully controlled finish against Tottenham for his 100th league goal, an acrobatic volley against Wimbledon – and the two strikes against Liverpool in the famous 4-4 draw. But it was Cottee’s 98th and penultimate Everton strike which was undoubtedly his most important. Coincidentally, it came at the home of his first love, West Ham, and was just as instrumental in Everton avoiding relegation in 1994 as Barry Horne’s howitzer or Graham Stuart’s daisycutter.
It came a month prior to the Wimbledon nerve-shredder and was Everton’s only away win under Mike Walker. The un-named commentator certainly enjoyed it.
“It’s a goodie. It’s a cracker!” he screamed. Cottee concedes: “Everton was the right club at the wrong time. Everton won the league title in 1987. I joined in 1988. I left in 1994 and they won the FA Cup in 1995. But I am proud to say that I played for Everton Football Club. I just wish I could have won something there.”
He certainly won Evertonian hearts over and they will enjoy this well packaged montage – hopefully more than daughter Chloe. Describing her experience of watching dad make his debut as player-manager for Barnet she explained: “I don’t remember anything about the match but I do remember counting 54 underground trains going past during the game.” Blues fans will recall much much more from Cottee’s six seasons in Royal Blue.
Everton FC launch new 'shocking' pink away kit for 2010/11 season
June 3 2010 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Football Club will be tickled pink next season – after revealing a ‘shocking’ new away strip! The Blues’ new kit for 2010/11 is predominantly pink and midfielder Leon Osman, who unveiled the strip at the club’s Evertone One store this morning, said: “It’s certainly different and it caused a bit of a stir in the dressing room but I like it. ”It looks great when it’s worn and although it’s a brave design … why not? We’ve never been afraid to try new things at Everton and I think this kit will be popular.” According to the official release, the away kit “features two high contrast colours – lightning pink and navy blue – a combination that has been designed to make players more visible in their teammates’ peripheral vision.” But the strip also harks back to the colours the club wore during their first season as champions of England. Chief executive Robert Elstone said: “This new kit takes its inspiration from our club’s history, indeed it dates back to the 1890/91 season when Everton were crowned league champions for the first time. “The old pink kit saw Everton crowned champions, we want this new kit to help take Everton to the next level.”
The 2010/11 shirt has been designed by Le Coq Sportif. Ray Evans Managing Director of Kitbag, Everton’s retail partner, said: “We have worked extremely closely with Everton to create a kit which meets the needs of the players. The material of the new kit has been specifically developed exclusively for Everton to make the shirt lighter, more durable and cooler.“I am sure the new ‘Revolutionary’ away kit is the first step in what we all hope will be a very successful year for Everton Football Club." Fans can purchase their new Everton away kit at Everton One and Everton Two, by calling 0871 663 1878 or via www.evertondirect.com. Blues boss David Moyes, meanwhile, is backing his inconsistent Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to deliver more regularly next season. Moyes said: “He’s scored some really good goals. “I’m not surprised because we’d watched him in Russia and we feel that he’s still got more to give, but there are goals in him and he’s sensed that himself.
“He’s a tremendous volleyer of the ball and, left foot or right foot, has great technique.
“The goals he has scored this season have been important for us and, I think important for him as well.” Bilyaletdinov added: “The club praised me for the goal against Manchester United and I received a special prize. “But in my view the goal against Portsmouth in the last matchday was also nice. “It is a pity I scored it after the awarding ceremony or I could have got two prizes!” Meanwhile, an Everton reserve side will play Scottish Second Division side Forfar Athletic on Friday, July 23.
The Blues second string will be in St Andrews for a training camp that week.
Everton FC latest: David Moyes wants even more from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
Jun 3 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES has praised Diniyar Bilyaletdinov’s debut Everton campaign – then challenged the Russian to make an even bigger impact next season.
Following a slow start to his Goodison career since arriving from Lokomotiv Moscow for £9million last August, Bilyaletdinov played an increasingly influential role during the closing weeks. The 25-year-old posted two goals of the season contenders with his brilliant strikes against Manchester United and Portsmouth, the latter on the final day taking his tally to seven in 33 appearances. With Russia having failed to qualify for the World Cup, the winger is enjoying a well-earned rest after playing non-stop football for 17 months. And Moyes believes a fully-recharged Bilyaletdinov can continue his improvement in the coming campaign. “He’s scored some really good goals”, said the Everton manager. “I’m not surprised because we’d watched him in Russia and we feel that he’s still got more to give, but there are goals in him and he’s sensed that himself. “He’s a tremendous volleyer of the ball and, left foot or right foot, has great technique. The goals he has scored this season have been important for us and I think important for him as well.” Everton ended the campaign with a run of just two defeats in their last 24 Premier League games. The change in fortunes in the New Year coincided with the return to fitness of a number of long-term injury victims. And Moyes has pinpointed the comebacks of Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta as key to Everton’s strong finish to the season. Jagielka started the final 12 games after returning as a substitute in Portugal against Sporting Lisbon, while Arteta, who was back the previous month, scored six goals in his last eight appearances.
“Jags and Mikel were incredible,” said Moyes. “We can rely on Jags to defend one-on-one or two-on-two because he’s comfortable and he’s good at it, and that means we don’t always need extra players back. Also, I think Jags made Sylvain Distin better. “We’d started to recover a little bit before Mikel came back but he came in and said: ‘I’m really going to show you how it’s done’. “He made us really play, gave us something else and also scored goals from midfield. He got six for us in an important period. So, not only was his football good, but his goals helped us as well.”
Meanwhile, Everton’s reserves have announced three pre-season friendlies this summer. They will take on Welsh Premier League side Airbus UK on Saturday, July 17 (kick-off 3pm) before two games north of the border against Scottish Football League third division opposition.
Everton’s second string play Clyde on Tuesday, July 20 (kick-off 7.30pm), then travel to Forfar on Friday, July 23 (kick-off 7.30pm).
Everton FC's Tony Cottee’s career goals in new DVD release
Jun 4 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Tony Cottee’s career goals in new DVD release
A REGULAR and reliable goalpoacher – or a flat track bully? A predatory marksman who justified his mantle as Britain’s most expensive footballer, or selfish and sedentary? Like most goalscorers, Tony Cottee divided opinion. But it’s worth pointing out that no-one has even come close to matching his 99 goal haul at Everton in the 16 years since he left. Tim Cahill tops the current Goodison goalscorers’ ranks with 56, while Duncan Ferguson managed 72 in his two stints spread over the best part of a decade. Tony Cottee scored 99 in his 206 starts, including six hat-tricks, and was top scorer in five of his six seasons at Goodison. And the vast bulk of those Everton strikes are on his new DVD release “Tony Cottee’s Career Goals.”
A man for whom goalscoring was his raison d’etre – he has tracked down video footage of 252 of his 306 career strikes including even some from his spell in Malaysia at Selangor – and it makes for a surprisingly entertaining compilation package. Introduced and concluded in trademark fashion by Russell Brand, there are plenty of entertaining interludes from unexpected individuals – Ray Winstone, Mike Parry and Alan Shearer. “We were alike in many ways. We each had three main clubs. Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle for me, West Ham, Everton and Leicester for Tony, and we only won one trophy each, but we did our job didn’t we? “I think most goalscorers will tell you they don’t know how they end up in the box when the ball falls to them. They just do it instinctively. I did it, and Tony did it too!” It’s the goals, of course, which provide the bulk of the action, though, and Evertonians won’t be disappointed. There’s even a shot of Cottee scoring at Goodison two years before he signed for the Blues – rarely seen footage of the 1985/86 West Ham clash, with Cottee outpacing Gary Stevens (yes, really), before being denied by “Bobby Simms!” (sic).
His goal, a 90th-minute tap-in, was “my 20th league goal of the season. I had never got 20 goals before, so it was a crucial goal for me,” and that sentence underlines Cottee’s football philosophy, one that often saw him fall foul of managers and some team-mates. “He was a poacher. He wasn’t one of those who worked his socks off down the channels. But he knew where the goal was,” said Howard Kendall.
While popular kitman Jimmy ‘Gonzo’ Martin added: “He was like a Lineker. He didn’t want to do a lot of running.” Strangely, radio presenter and well-known Evertonian Mike Parry added: “He also had a very, very high work-rate which was something appreciated by Everton fans.” That’s goalscorers for you. They divide opinion. There are some stunning Everton strikes – the hat-trick against Newcastle and the 34-second opener, a beautifully controlled finish against Tottenham for his 100th league goal, an acrobatic volley against Wimbledon – and the two strikes against Liverpool in the famous 4-4 draw. But it was Cottee’s 98th and penultimate Everton strike which was undoubtedly his most important. Coincidentally, it came at the home of his first love, West Ham, and was just as instrumental in Everton avoiding relegation in 1994 as Barry Horne’s howitzer or Graham Stuart’s daisycutter.
It came a month prior to the Wimbledon nerve-shredder and was Everton’s only away win under Mike Walker. The un-named commentator certainly enjoyed it. “It’s a goodie. It’s a cracker!” he screamed. Cottee concedes: “Everton was the right club at the wrong time. Everton won the league title in 1987. I joined in 1988. I left in 1994 and they won the FA Cup in 1995. But I am proud to say that I played for Everton Football Club. I just wish I could have won something there.” He certainly won Evertonian hearts over and they will enjoy this well packaged montage – hopefully more than daughter Chloe. Describing her experience of watching dad make his debut as player-manager for Barnet she explained: “I don’t remember anything about the match but I do remember counting 54 underground trains going past during the game.” Blues fans will recall much much more from Cottee’s six seasons in Royal Blue.
World Cup preparations are going well for Australia, says Everton FC's Tim Cahill
Jun 4 2010 Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL is pleased with Australia’s World Cup preparations ahead of their opening game against Germany in Durban. Australia are still in the midst of the physical conditioning stage of their preparation having arrived in South Africa just over a week ago. Having kicked off the on-field preparations with a win over Denmark on Tuesday, Cahill said things are progressing well. “It’s always nice to get a good result, but I think everyone has come off feeling really well,” Cahill said.
“For the team, it was nice the way we played football. “It’s nice with how hard we’ve worked. “We are all very happy.”
Everton FC star Leon Osman believes Jermaine Beckford can fire the Toffees to glory
Jun 4 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Everton FC star Leon Osman believes Jermaine Beckford can fire the Toffees to glory
LEON Osman today backed Everton new-boy Jermaine Beckford to provide the vital cutting edge which the Toffees lacked at times last season. The midfielder welcomed the former Leeds United striker’s capture, and is confident Beckford can cope with the switch from English football’s third tier to the Premier League. Beckford, 26, signed a four-year deal at Finch Farm on Monday to become David Moyes’ first signing of the summer. “I think he can adapt to the Premier League,” said Osman. “A natural goal scorer will always score goals. You can’t question the quality of our front two, but as good as we’ve been at times last season we lacked someone to just tap the ball in from the six yard line, or on the goal line. “Even to get one in off his hip. Maybe with Jermaine that will be a big bonus.” And Osman, 29, insists that the better quality of service which Beckford will receive from Everton’s creative midfield unit will give him a good chance of climbing up the goalscorer charts. He said: “If a goalscorer knows where to stand, the more chances that are created the more goals he can get.
“I’m sure he’s thinking that if he steps up into a higher quality league, he’ll get more chances and more goals.” Meanwhile, Ray Evans, managing director of Everton’s kit supplier Kitbag, believes the club’s new bright pink away strip will solve a problem raised by David Moyes last season. He said: “When I showed the new kit to David Moyes, before I took it out of the bag he said, “I really like the black and pink kit (last season) but the only problem is that peripheral vision of the players was a problem, as in picking each other out in it on the pitch. I hope you’re not going to show me another dark kit”. “I told him there wouldn’t be a problem with peripheral vision in this kit.” The strip, launched at the Everton One store by Leon Osman yesterday, has already proved popular with some fans. After just five hours of sales, the kit had generated over £42,000. Everton's commercial director Dave Biggar said: “Although early, the away kit sales figures at both retail stores and online have been extremely encouraging with fans showing their approval by buying it in sizeable numbers.
“Ideally, we'll be able to maintain the momentum from this morning's launch, and continue the sales pattern which so far compares very favourably with previous kits at the same stage.”
Former Everton FC defender Craig Short appointed Notts County manager
Jun 4 2010
Notts County have appointed former Everton captain Craig Short as their new manager on a three-year contract. The former Blues defender, who played 104 times for the club, spent last season in charge of Hungarian side Ferencvaros. He will be joined in his role by a technical director who is expected to be confirmed next week.
Short replaces Steve Cotterill who left Meadow Lane last month at the end of his short-term deal after guiding the club to the League Two title. ``I'm a little bit shocked to be honest, having seen some of the names that have been linked with the job,'' said Short. “I actually rang Derek Pavis a couple of years ago enquiring about a job here and he gave me the best piece of advice - to go and get some experience. “I took that on board and, whilst I was reluctant to go abroad to gain that experience and it would prove to be the toughest two years of my life, it has paid off because it has brought me to where I am today. “I am delighted that the chairman is prepared to give a hungry young manager a chance and I feel that I have shown the desire to succeed here. If I can enjoy half as much success here as a manager as I did as a player, it’s going to be a fantastic time for myself and the club.”
Royle Blue: Everton FC star Leighton Baines will play for England again
Jun 5 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON Baines wanted to go to the World Cup in part to fulfil an ambition once held for him by his much-loved grandfather Dixie.
Physio Dixie Baines was a legend in Kirkby and the wider Merseyside football scene thanks to his healing hands and universal popularity.
Leighton knows how proud he would have been seeing him wear the Three Lions.
Yet his World Cup dream is over, after a game against Mexico when he was harshly and unfairly criticised. Everton’s left-back may be quiet, but he is made of stern stuff and will play for his country again. Make no mistake.
Everton FC fans have mixed feelings over Blues’ new pink away kit
Jun 5 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Echo
WHEN I saw a leaked photo of the new pink strip I hated it but it looks much better now. The jury seems to be out with most fans. One things for sure, it should look good on the Everton Ladies!
Daddy Cool, via email
I DON’T like the new Everton away strip at all – its going to look daft on all those fat fellas at the match! Bluetrig, via email
I LOVE the new kit – it makes a change from something dull or black like the old one which Moyes even said the players sometimes found it hard to pick out players.
One thing I won’t do though, is wear the matching nail varnish!
Greg Sykes, Kirkdale
SHOCKING pink indeed.
No way will you catch me wearing a kit like that – let alone shelling out cash on it!
Bradley Hodge, Bootle
Everton FC's Steven Pienaar tips South Africa to take World Cup 2010 by surprise
Jun 5 2010 by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
WHEN you have had a season like Steven Pienaar has just had, you should probably expect to find a little more expectation placed upon your shoulders. The dynamic midfielder has lit up the Premier League over the past twelve months with his nimble footwork, clever passing and selfless attitude, and it was no surprise to see him named as Everton’s Player of the Season, ahead of the likes of Tim Cahill, John Heitinga and Tim Howard. So how does the 28-year-old intend to follow the most impressive campaign of his career so far? By shining on the biggest stage of all, that’s how. Pienaar will lead the charge as South Africa look to impress on home soil at the World Cup. Carlos Alberto Parreira’s side may not be particularly fancied outside the strongholds of Johannesburg, Soweto and Cape Town, but Pienaar is confident they can spring a surprise or two over the next few weeks. “As a player, I know our ability and potential,” he says, “We didn’t win many preparation games, but you have to see the big picture. I think we will surprise a few people, and after the World Cup people will have a different opinion of the team. “Carlos Alberto Parreira is world-class, and we take confidence from having such a big name as coach. He has won the World Cup [with Brazil in 1994] and coached at other World Cups, so we are hoping his experience will rub off on us.” Bafana-Bafana (which literally translates as “The Boys”) will begin their World Cup campaign with a game against Mexico in Johannesburg on Friday, and will then face testing games with France and Uruguay. Pienaar knows that qualification from Group A will be a tough ask, but says that Parreira’s squad is well-equipped to achieve just that. “We are a unit, which is very important,” he says, “We have a great spirit and we are mentally prepared. We have been getting ready for this tournament for the past four years. ”Of course the first game is the most important. If we get a positive result against Mexico, we can hope to progress from the group. If we can progress to the second stage, then anything can happen.” And if South Africa are to maintain a proud tradition - no host nation has ever failed to negotiate the first round of a World Cup – then the performance of Pienaar is sure to be key. Parreira sprung a major surprise by omitting, amongst others, veteran striker Benni McCarthy from his 23-man squad, but Pienaar says he doesn’t feel any added pressure as the biggest name in a team of few stars.
“Of course it’s a huge responsibility,” he says, “And the players that play in Europe are the ones who people will be looking to. But we are a team, so we all feel the same pressure to do well. “This year it is particularly important because it is the first World Cup on African soil. Everyone in Africa, not just South Africa, is determined to make it the best World Cup ever.”
Royal Blue: Just who is the Everton FC player wearing the club’s first ever pink kit in a mystery mosaic?
Jun 5 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
IT IS a conundrum to rank with what really happened in the end of Lost, and why John Heitinga thinks his Dutch interviews can’t be translated. Just who is the mystery Everton player immortalised in a sublime tiled mosaic which hangs in Goodison Park? Our own Old Hall Street investigation simply unravelled a tale of intrigue within intrigue. Consider the discovery of the mosaic in the first place. Back in 1986 work on Anfield’s century-old Sandon pub, the original home of the Toffees, was being carried out. The Sandon was the birth place of top class football in Merseyside. In the early 1880s it was owned by former Lord Mayor John Houlding, and was Everton’s headquarters and dressing rooms until Houlding’s attempt to raise the rent at Anfield saw most players and officials move to Goodison Road. Those left behind, of course, became Liverpool Football Club. While renovating the famous pub decades later, workmen knocked through a wall and found the mosaic, which was presented to Everton’s then manager Howard Kendall. The common consensus was that the striking portrait captured legendary Toffees striker Alex ‘Sandy’ Young. The swashbuckling forward, who scored 125 goals for the Blues, was revered by fans and feared by opposition defenders at the turn of the century. In the Echo story about the discovery Young was named as the man, and so it became accepted as fact.
Except, it’s not him. The history books show that Young would not have played in the team which first wore salmon pink. Sandy wore royal blue when he signed in time for the 1901-02 season, years after the salmon kit was sported – and with his dark hair and youthful face, looked nothing like the red-haired, mustachioed player on the mosaic. Indeed, fans still pondering the decision to make Everton’s latest away strip pink will be intrigued to learn there is a reference in the club’s minute books from 1890 about the decision to go salmon. So, if it is not Sandy Young – who is it?
One candidate is Everton’s regular outside-right during their early days in the Football League, Alex Latta. The Scot is a strong possibility. He was at the club just in time to wear salmon pink, sported the necessary moustache, and was highly respected.
But Latta’s first season was 1889-90, would a mosaic really be dedicated to a player after just one campaign? It is unlikely. Similarly, John Bell could be the man on the wall. The masterful right winger played during the all-important season and spent the best part of a decade thrilling crowds at Goodison Park. Despite the potential boxes ticked – it is almost certainly not Bell. The evocative mosaic clearly shows a fair or red-headed player, and Bell had brown hair to go with his jauntily waxed moustache.
Even the ECHO’s own Everton history don David Prentice was stumped. The pair of us have been on the trail of the mystery man all week, and although we have settled on one chief suspect remain largely nonplussed. We dusted off a copy of ‘Everton - a complete record 1878-1988’, featuring most notable players from the club’s history in alphabetical order, which led us to Tony Matthews’ ‘Who’s Who of Everton’ (are you noticing a distinctly Statto theme developing here?) and finally the book written by David France and Prenno himself, ‘100 seasons at the top – Virgin Blues’.
More candidates came thick and fast – a strong contender is James Alexander Angus. The linchpin of the 1890 side ticks all the boxes. Tall, fair-haired and with an almost identical moustache. Adding further intrigue, Angus died at Everton.
Could the mosaic really be a touching tribute to a player who passed away while still on the club’s books? It would be a fine way to recognise one man’s untimely demise.
This is where we have to hand the trail over to other Everton historians. If you have a theory – let us know. We are hoping that someone somewhere can solve the riddle of the man who glowers sternly down from the magnificent mosaic hanging outside the Alex Young suite.
Everton FC legend Graeme Sharp says Jermaine Beckford can do a Tim Cahill
Jun 5 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
DAVID Moyes has a cast-iron response to anyone who questions his decision to take Jermaine Beckford out of League One and into the Premier League with Everton.
Tim Cahill. The Aussie’s success is the ultimate rebuff to anyone questioning the non-risk signing of Beckford. Last week this column questioned whether Beckford can make the step-up, but concluded that he is surely worth taking anyway.
Now Graeme Sharp has backed the ex-Leeds striker, but insists fans may need to be patient while he settles in to life in the top flight. "I think the supporters have got to give him a chance. He has got to bed in and get used to the style of play," said Sharpy.
"He will now be up against bigger, better and quicker defenders than what he has been used to. It will take some getting used to and it won't happen overnight but I think Jermaine will be looking forward to the challenge. "It is a massive step up for him but David Moyes brought in Tim Cahill from Millwall and many of us questioned if he could handle the step up, myself included. It's not been a problem for Tim so hopefully Jermaine is the same. "He will now be up against more intelligent defenders than he was used to at Leeds United but a goal scorer is a goal scorer.”
Leon Osman confident that Everton FC will retain their star players this summer
Jun 5 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Leon Osman confident that Everton FC will retain their star players this summer despite interest from big-spending clubs THE last ball of the season at Goodison Park had barely been kicked when ugly rumours began to surface linking Everton’s stars with moves to money-bags Manchester City. It was perhaps inevitable.
Even in an ultimately frustrating season, Everton had out-played star-studded City twice, the twin victories over Roberto Mancini’s side offering two of many notable high points. Mancini and his obscenely wealthy paymasters cannot have helped but take note of performances by players like Steven Pienaar, Mikel Arteta, and John Heitinga as Everton helped extinguish any Champions League hopes at Eastlands.
Pienaar in particular has done little to deter the rumour-mongers who like to revel in City’s ongoing transfer merry-go-round. The South African has left for the World Cup with a highly-lucrative new deal from Everton unsigned, and many fear that lack of signature hints a departure is likely. Arteta would seem a far less likely candidate to jump ship, the Spaniard has often stated his loyalty to Everton, especially after a season when he received such strong support while rehabilitating from serious knee ligament injury back home in Spain. Yet his name also has been added to the list of purported targets. It is not just the newly-rich of Manchester either who have assumed vulture status. City’s more successful rivals have been said to have watched Arteta’s excellent return to form after his injury with interest. Sir Alex Ferguson, say the tabloids, is a fan of the best little Spaniard Evertonians know. Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham, now with the fillip of likely Champions League football, are increasingly linked with moves for Everton’s stars. It is against this backdrop of manufactured uncertainty, that Everton’s loyal band of ‘lifers’, career-loyalists like Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are quietly going about the business of resting and relaxing while planning for an arduous pre-season. Osman, on hand to launch Everton’s eye-catching new pink away strip, is philosophical about the threat to the Toffees squad from big cheque books. “I just think clubs like Man City have so much money they can pretty much bid for whoever they like,” he said. “All the top players are going to be linked with them, and we’ve proved we have top players so there will be speculation linking our players with them. “That’s just part and parcel of football, it always happens in the summer. Until any firm bid is lodged I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.”
David Moyes has referred to Osman as one of his mini-managers, a reliable wise-head in his squad, and the 29-year-old thinks like a manager when he insists that sales might be acceptable but the timing, unlike last summer, must be right. There can be no repeat of the Joleon Lescott saga, when a player leaves so late that the manager’s options for replacing him have dwindled. “That’s the only thing,” he said. “If people don’t want to stay at the club and they are going to go to another club then fine. Sure, they can go – but you don’t want to fall into the trap of not knowing a couple of games into the season. “If it’s going to happen, you’d prefer it to happen before the start. Other than that, if players want to go, then let them go.” Far from being disheartened, Osman shares his manager’s quiet optimism in building success the old-fashioned way. “From a fan’s point of view you have got to remember we have gradually built up in numbers and in quality our squad over the last four years,” he said. “We’ve done it on a limited budget so I think one or two players in the right areas will see us fine. “You’ve seen in the past when clubs go out and buy seven or eight players and it doesn’t always work. If we can keep hold of the players we have and make one or two additions I think we’ll be really good last season.” One thing which clearly troubles the Wigan-born star is the late omission of his friend Leighton Baines from Fabio Capello’s England World Cup squad. “I was surprised when I saw the announcement,” he said. “Leighton has played the last few internationals and done really well so he’ll be bitterly disappointed to not have make the squad.
“It was the big surprise of the seven that he didn’t go but it was Fabio Capello’s call.
“Leighton was our players’ player of the year. He has our appreciation and the fact he plays every single game is fantastic. He’s a top man, top professional and a top player.
“From our point of view to have him fresh for the start of the season will be great, but from a friends point of view it’s got to be disappointing. “I’m sure he’ll bounce back from this and perform just as well as he did last season. He’ll get a break like the rest of us now. “It was the big surprise of the seven that he didn’t go but it was Fabio Capello’s call.” For now, Osman is simply anticipating settling down on the sofa and watching his club-mates progress in the South Africa tournament. But he will not be rooting for either close pal Tim Howard or Landon Donovan when the USA take on England in their opening game on June 12. He said: “I am really looking forward to the World Cup. I’m a massive England fan and I hope we do well. I never have split loyalties when the Everton lads are playing. “If they’re playing against England I want them to lose. I do tune into pretty much every match that one of our lads plays and cheer them on.” Before the tournament ends, Osman will be jetting off to Australia with the rest of his team-mates to take part in Everton’s pre-season tour.
But the renowned practical joker is considering toning down antics for self-preservation on the long flight Down Under. “It’s good to play pranks but when you’re on a 22 hour flight you need to get some sleep yourself at some point,” he said. “If you have played tricks on everyone else they are going to come and get you back at some point. That will be a tough one. “I’ve never been to Australia before so it will be an amazing experience. Tim is always talking it up and saying we should go so it’ll be nice to go over and see if he’s right.” “It’s probably going to be a taxing trip with the flight and change to sleeping patterns, but the fact it’s pre-season as well. It might be one of the toughest trips we’ve been on but we’ll look forward to it nevertheless.”
Steven Pienaar's loyalty to David Moyes offers hope for Everton FC
Jun 5 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
STEVEN Pienaar has offered hope he could still stay with Everton this summer by underlining his respect for David Moyes. The South African midfielder shunned a lucrative contract offer from the Toffees before jetting off to his homeland for the World Cup. And speculation has persisted linking the 28-year-old with big money moves to a host of top clubs, with Everton reportedly valuing him at £15m.
But now the club’s player of the season has added a new twist to the saga, by insisting he wants to repay the faith shown in him by the Goodison boss. He said: “The gaffer has always been there to help me. He’s the one who took me to England and had a lot of confidence in me. “When someone shows you that kind of respect you really want to pay them back someday and all I had to do was work very hard because I knew the talent was there. He demands a lot from the players and always emphasises teamwork.
“I’ve often wondered when he gets chance to go to sleep because he is the hardest working manager I’ve ever come across and that has rubbed off on his players as well.
“Everyone has to give 100% no matter how good you are.” Elsewhere, Everton have triumphed at football’s hospitality awards, winning the prestigious Directors' Choice award. Voted for by the board of directors at each Premier League club, based on their experiences at away games, bosses from Everton and their catering partner Sodexo were at Wigan's DW Stadium this week to receive their award. It means Everton's director-level hospitality is the best in the UK. Everton also received the Bronze Award for Matchday Hospitality in the UK – just behind Birmingham and Wolves.
Everton and Sodexo's Tony Watson said: “In sometimes challenging conditions, the hard work, commitment and dedication of the staff from both Sodexo Prestige and Everton Football Club has resulted in our victory. “To be beating clubs like Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea who have such large, modern facilities is a massive achievement. It is extremely satisfying to be able to confirm through Stadium Experience’s judging process that, as I know myself, the hospitality at Goodison Park is amongst the best in the UK.”
Everton FC rumour mill: Arteta to snub offers and stay at Goodison, London clubs after African pair, Blues to face raid from across Stanley Park?
Jun 6 2010
Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta is set to reject offers from Manchester United and Arsenal to sign a new deal to stay at Goodison Park.
Source: Sunday Mirror
Liverpool are eyeing David Moyes as they seek to replace Rafa Benitez
Source: The Express
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is considering a move for Everton's South African midfielder Steven Pienaar.
Source: Daily Mail
LIVERPOOL CHIEF PLANS RAID TO LURE DAVID MOYES
Liverpool are eyeing Everton boss David Moyes
Sunday June 6,2010
By Daily Express Reporter
IN THE wake of Rafa Benitez’s departure from Liverpool last week, the boss of bitter Mersey rivals Everton has emerged as a surprise target as replacement
David Moyes is the shock name on Liverpool’s shortlist to replace the sacked Rafa Benitez. Anfield managing director Christian Purslow who, together with Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, has been entrusted with the responsibility of finding a new Kop boss, is a big admirer of Moyes’ work in his eight years with neighbours Everton.
It is believed that Moyes is aware of Liverpool’s interest as the red half of Merseyside attempt to pull off a coup which would stun football. Moyes, though, is deeply loyal to Everton and has a good working relationship with chairman Bill Kenwright. Only a few weeks ago he told Sunday Express Sport that any new investors would be better choosing Everton than pumping money into Anfield. Despite that, Moyes is still in Liverpool’s thoughts as they attempt to resurrect their fortunes after a disastrous last season in Benitez’s six-year reign. The Spaniard was dismissed on Thursday but is expected to be named as Inter Milan’s successor to Jose Mourinho this week. Hesitation saw Benitez miss out on the Juventus job but it is believed that he is now ready to say yes to Inter. It is understood that owner Massimo Moratti has been influenced by lobbying from some of the team’s Argentinian contingent, which includes Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel and Diego Milito. Fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pellegrino, Benitez’s number two at Anfield, who will join him at the San Siro and is admired by the players, has been pushing his boss’s case.
With Liverpool having to pay up to £6million to part company with Benitez, American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are reluctant to pay a big compensation package to land his successor. The exception would be Moyes.
'Loyal' Arteta set for Goodison stay
June 6 2010 By MirrorFootball
Mikel Arteta will pledge his future to Everton this summer because he feels he owes the club his loyalty after they helped him through his injury problems. Manchester United are monitoring Arteta’s negotiations over a new contract, with Sir Alex Ferguson plotting a £10million bid for the talented Spaniard. Arsene Wenger is also reportedly keen to sign Arteta as a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas, should Arsenal fail to stave off interest from Barcelona. Arteta’s contract at Goodison runs out next year and there has been a deadlock in negotiations so far this summer.
But the midfielder – omitted from Spain’s World Cup squad – is set to sit down with Everton boss David Moyes during the tournament in South Africa and will commit himself to the club. Moyes stood by Arteta, 28, after a cruciate knee ligament injury in February 2009 ruled him out for eight months. And sources at Goodison Park claim Arteta will turn his back on a potential move to United as a debt of loyalty to Everton.
Tottenham move for Huntelaar and Pienaar as Keane set to join Aston Villa
By Alex Montgomery
Sunday Mirror June 6 2010
Harry Redknapp has identified Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar as a player to boost Tottenham's scoring in the Champions League next season.The Spurs manager will also keep an eye on Everton's South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar while a BBC World Cup pundit.It spells the start of a clear-out at White Hart Lane, with club captain Robbie Keane set to join Aston Villa and Jermaine Jenas offered as bait to lure Pienaar.Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is ready to loosen the purse strings after the club finished fourth last season. Pienaar, who has a year left on his contract, is keen to move to a Champions League club.AC Milan have made it clear Huntelaar, 26, could be surplus to requirements if they can sign Sevilla's Luis Fabiano.The much-travelled Huntelaar cost just under £15million from Real Madrid a year ago. But despite being considered one of Holland's finest front men the Italians feel he had an indifferent first season with seven goals in 21 appearances.
Former Everton FC defender Tommy Jones dies aged 80
June 6 2010 By Dan Kay
FORMER Everton defender Tommy 'TE' Jones has died aged after 80 after a long illness. Jones made 411 appearances for the Blues between 1950 and 1961, being part of the last Everton team to be relegated in 1951 and helping them gain promotion back to the top flight three years later. A dependable defender, Jones followed in the footsteps of the legendary Thomas G. (TG) Jones who had been one of the club's star defenders in the 1930s and 1940s. A knee injury forced 'TE' to retire from the game at the game at the age of 31 in 1961 but he was highly regarded enough within the club for then-chairman John Moores to help him find future employment beyond the game of football. "I had a bad knee injury a year or so before I finished," he recalled.
"John Moores was chairman of the club at the time and he said: 'If at any time in the future you do finish the game and you're looking for some kind of employment, I'd like you to contact me.' "I was reminded of this about a year after by a physiotherapist at the club at the time and I said: 'Yes, these directors at the club mean these things at the time but when it comes to the crunch it can be a form of embarrassment.'
"And he said: 'No, John Moores isn't like that.' "So he gave me John Moores' address and phone number and said get in touch with him. I wrote to him actually and within a week I got a reply offering to give me an appointment with one of the Littlewoods people. "I joined Littlewoods and I was there for 30 years. I finished up as the Senior Purchasing Officer. "We were responsible for the furnishing of the store. Everything from counters to kitchen units and toilets. "I found it was great and he was true to his word." Jones remained a regular visitor to Goodison and was also part of the Everton Former Players Foundation.
Everton FC star Tim Cahill won’t waste any time fighting for Australia's World Cup success
Jun 7 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIME is precious to Tim Cahill – and the Everton star is determined not to waste a single second of it in South Africa this summer. The recently ended Premier League season mirrored the Aussie midfielder’s own career – a halting, low-profile start which suddenly burst into life. Cahill, who turned 30 during Everton’s 09/10 campaign, was 24 when he broke into the Premier League with the Toffees.
The Sydney-born player has felt like he is up against the clock ever since, determined to make a big impression every time he steps onto the pitch. Now the respect he garners in English football, coupled with an A-list status in Australia, would suggest his efforts have worked. He is not one for resting on laurels though. Since returning to his homeland for a pre-World Cup training camp in Melbourne, Cahill has not stopped. Promoting the game, himself, his club, his charities – it has been non-stop. There was even a fund-raiser for his children’s cancer charity to be squeezed in – the same charity that will benefit with $1 from every ticket sold when Cahill is home in July for Everton’s pre-season tour of Australia. The Toffees will play A-League sides Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart, and Cahill can barely hide his excitement about playing on home soil in a blue shirt. “I’m so thrilled that Everton are coming here, it’s massive for such a big club like that to be in Australia and we’ll show the fans just how passionate we are about football,” he said. Before then, of course, there’s the matter of the World Cup. Cahill is widely regarded among Aussie soccer fans as the one truly indispensable player in Pim Verbeek’s squad.
In a system which ensures the Socceroos have to feed off scraps, his uncanny knack of scoring crucial goals is vital – and 19 goals in 37 games is a decent return.
The good news for the Socceroos is that Cahill is feeling no after-effects from a long, tough Premier League season. “I don’t feel I can be any fitter,” he said. “This is it, at the end of a long season, to hopefully make something special happen. I’ve been running 12 kilometres every game, the last couple of months got me goals, and started to play some great football even though I was playing a bit deeper. "The fatigue factor isn’t there and I feel pretty good. "I’ve had four days off and I’m buzzing. The Premier League isn’t getting any easier, but I’m really happy with this season. Proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m definitely up there with some great form. "You look over the season, the games to goals, to fitness, everything. I’ve just tried to be consistent football-wise and for myself, having that consistency going into the World Cup, is great. I can’t wait to get started.” The words bode well for Australia. At the end of a gruelling campaign of 43 games in the league, FA Cup and in Europe, Cahill is just getting started – and is ready to be pushed to his limits by Pim Verbeek. Before the last World Cup in Germany, Guus Hiddink flogged the players mercilessly to prepare them for the tournament. Over the next three weeks, Cahill wants Verbeek to punish the players again. “We have to do it,” he said. “Once we get to South Africa we have to be the fittest team again, we have to be the strongest. If we were Brazil and had eight Peles coming off the bench, fair enough. But we don’t. So we have to make sure, like in Germany, that we push ourselves harder. There’s nothing to rest for.
“I know what my body’s like and I’m ready. I’m going to train harder every day and try and utilise the facilities and the people we’ve got around us. “So long as I go out there and leave everything on the pitch, even if at the precise moment it doesn’t happen for you, people will still respect the fact that you’ve given everything.”
Four years ago, when the Socceroos kicked off against Japan, he was on the bench.
There is no chance of that happening anytime soon and he’s delighted to be so indispensable. “A hundred per cent I want that, I’ve wanted it all the time,” he said. “It’s a compliment that reflects on you as a person and as a footballer.
“ Yeah, it’s a massive weight, but is it really? I’m going to grab this with both hands to make sure not only I fulfil my dreams, but the dreams of the people because they’re who you play for.” Cahill has already played against some of the best performers in Europe, but this tournament will provide the chance to measure him against the best of his peers. “Is it a measure? Maybe yes, but it’s not the be all and end all,” he adds. “All I say to myself is you’re playing against the best players in the world, so don’t waste the opportunity.”
Everton FC are not looking to offload striker Yakubu to West Ham
Jun 7 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are not looking to sell Yakubu despite signing Jermaine Beckford to boost their forward line. The Nigerian striker has been linked with a summer exit from Goodison Park, and the free transfer capture of ex-Leeds United hit-man Beckford has intensified speculation he could leave. Reports have suggested that David Moyes might accept a bid for Yakubu from Avram Grant’s West Ham, in order to strengthen his own transfer budget. But the ECHO understands that the 27-year-old, who scored in Nigeria’s final friendly before the World Cup against North Korea on Saturday, remains part of Moyes’ plans for next season. A severe Achilles tendon injury in November 2008 meant Yakubu endured a frustrating 12 months on the sidelines, but Moyes views him as a natural goalscorer when fully fit. In the 2007/08 season, Yakubu became the first Everton player since Peter Beardsley to net 20 goals in a season. But he only managed six strikes last season as he struggled to recapture top form. The former Middlesbrough forward has played under Grant before at Portsmouth, and Israeli agent Pini Zahavi represents both men. But he would not be sold by Everton unless he asked for a move and made it clear he wanted to leave and play for Grant again. Meanwhile, Everton have laughed off reports in a Sunday newspaper linking Liverpool with an audacious bid to lure David Moyes across Stanley Park. Anfield managing director Christian Purslow is reported to be an admirer of the Scot as he begins the search for Rafael Benitez’s successor at Anfield. But senior Goodison sources insist Moyes, who is set to fly to South Africa for the World Cup this week, is focusing, as ever, on taking Everton forward.
Another man intent on his Everton career is 18-year-old forward Jose Baxter.
The youngster made seven appearances for the first team in the 2009/10 campaign and also picked up the prestigious Keith Tamlin Award in recognition of his talent as well as his contribution to Academy life as a whole at the club’s end of season awards.
He said: “Everton is a club that gives young players a good chance and our academy is brilliant. “The manager is also brilliant because he doesn’t care about your age.
“He feels that if you are good enough then you are old enough and that is great for us.” “This year I want to push on in my career and hopefully get a few more first team games under my belt,” he continued. “I want to progress a bit more then see what the future holds for me.”
Everton FC pays its farewells to the great T.E. Jones
June 7 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
T.E. JONES, the great Everton defender of the 50s and 60s who, it was reported, “exuded dignity and decency”, has died at the age of 80 after a long battle with illness.
Thomas Edwin Jones became known by Evertonians as T.E. to distinguish him from his illustrious predecessor, T.G. Jones. And while he didn’t possess quite the same style as the Welsh international Thomas Gwynfor – few did – he was converted to centre-half to replace his legendary namesake and reigned unchallenged at Goodison for more than a decade. Jones made 411 appearances for the Blues and replaced Peter Farrell as captain in 1957. He was also an ice cool penalty taker, but most of all was revered for his sportsmanship. A fierce tackler and dominant in the air, he often excelled in clashes with the lion rampant of his day, Bolton’s Nat Lofthouse.
It was not until Brian Labone’s emergence that Jones found his place under threat, but even then he reverted to left-back before a shattered knee cap in a reserve match against Burnley in 1962 forced him to retire. He gained youth honours for England, played for an England XI against the British Army and captained an FA side on tour to Ghana and Nigeria in the summer of 1958. He later coached Montreal FC in Italy before moving into private business. Following the end of his football career he continued to serve then Blues chairman John Moores at Littlewoods.
“I had a bad knee injury a year or so before I finished,” he recalled.
“John Moores was chairman of the club at the time and he said: ‘If at any time in the future you do finish the game and you’re looking for some kind of employment, I’d like you to contact me.’ “I was reminded of this about a year after by a physiotherapist at the club at the time and I said: ‘Yes, these directors at the club mean these things at the time but when it comes to the crunch it can be a form of embarrassment.’ And he said: ‘No, John Moores isn’t like that.’ “So he gave me John Moores’ address and phone number and said get in touch with him. I wrote to him actually and within a week I got a reply offering to give me an appointment with one of the Littlewoods people. “I joined Littlewoods and I was there for 30 years. I finished up as the Senior Purchasing Officer. We were responsible for the furnishing of the store. Everything from counters to kitchen units and toilets. I found it was great and he was true to his word.” TE Jones continued to visit Goodison regularly and was introduced to the crowd as recently as April. He was also part of the Everton Former Players’ Foundation.
Everton FC’s Steven Pienaar ready to take centre stage for South Africa at World Cup 2010
Jun 7 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
WHEN the whistle goes and the speculation stops – Steven Pienaar is ready to thrill the world this summer. The South African might be at the centre of an increasingly fraught contract dispute with Everton, but it is his sublime skills which make the prospect of his Merseyside departure so unwelcome. Those skills have long been predicted to make the midfielder a star as he leads his country’s quest for glory on home soil. Pienaar takes the biggest stage in global football after a sensational season for the Toffees, during which his ability to change close games single-handedly sparkled. Denied the creative artistry of Mikel Arteta for so long, Pienaar’s mercurial feet and ceaseless workrate fired Everton’s form. The South African’s goals against Manchester City and Arsenal finally caused the rest of the Premier League to sit up and take notice of a talent which had long been admired at Goodison Park.
Pienaar arrived on loan from Borussia Dortmund for the 2007-08 season and later signed a three-year contract for a pre-agreed bargain fee of £2m. He scored his first Everton goal in a 2-0 home victory over Middlesbrough in September 2007, and soon began to win over the Goodison crowd providing a threat on the left-flank, later intensified by his link-up play with full-back Leighton Baines, himself unfortunate not to make Fabio Capello’s England squad. It was all in stark contrast to Pienaar’s previous club career. Signed as a replacement for Arsenal-bound Tomas Rosicky, Pienaar's first year with Borussia Dortmund saw him receive the number 10 shirt vacated by the Czech play-maker. Enjoying the same popularity as Rosicky proved beyond him. Pienaar struggled at Dortmund never being accepted in the dressing room or winning the fans’ favour. Fortunately, he is not the type of character to let isolation in a foreign country affect him. The boy from the deprived Johannesburg township is as tough as the body armour police wear on routine patrols of the Westbury suburb where he grew up. Many of his childhood friends will watch the midfielder star for Bafana Bafana from their prison cells. Not blessed with the footballing skills of Pienaar, their roads led to crime and violence. “Yes, a lot of my friends are in jail,” he admitted. “I still have contact with them and phone them when I’m in South Africa. There’s a lot of crime in the country. “But when you are growing up you just get on with things. You get up, go to school, play in the streets. Thoughts about how your family are going to get food to give you a dinner don’t come into your mind at that age. “When I was playing football in the streets, people started asking me to play for their teams but I didn’t want that. “I wanted to play in the streets, not be told when to come to training. “A bit later, I had an opportunity to go to the country’s school of excellence and that’s where I developed my skills.” Soon the call came from Cape Town-based Ajax-feeder club, Ajax Cape Town, where Pienaar thrived and ultimately earned his move to the Bundesliga. Pienaar is now recognised as his country’s main man as World Cup fever grips the nation. He revealed: “The people are going wild because we’ve been waiting so long and now it’s so close. “We have a Bafana day planned, when everyone in the country must wear a South Africa team shirt.
No matter who you are, whether you work in a bank, you must wear it. The World Cup will be a big festival. The whole country will come together. “There is still a lot of racial tension but sport builds spirit and unites people.” There is no better example than 15 years ago, when South Africa was allowed to stage the Rugby World Cup after apartheid was dismantled and went on to win the trophy. It was all recaptured in the stirring film Invictus, with Matt Damon playing all-conquering skipper Francois Pienaar and Morgan Freeman taking on the role of South African president Nelson Mandela. Steven Pienaar smiled and revealed: “I’ve watched Invictus five times and every time it makes me want to cry because it’s so true. I was at school at the time of that World Cup and we were packed into tents watching the games. “There were a lot of white South Africans at the school but we watched the games together. It was difficult for them to cheer a black guy in public at that time. But it brought us together and I hope football does it again. “The difference is that not so many people expect the football team to do as well. But maybe the Mandela touch will bring us luck.”
Pienaar knows Mandela has been in poor health but that won’t stop the former leader of the Rainbow Nation providing his inspirational support. “We always visit him when we’re with the national team,” he added. “It’s like going to meet the father of the nation. Everyone looks up to him.” With France, Mexico and Uruguay alongside them in Group A, South Africa will have their work cut out. But in Steven Pienaar they have a player unafraid of a hard slog who is perched on the edge of his destiny.
USA's Landon Donovan - My Everton FC experience will help me at the World Cup in South Africa
Jun 7 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
SHOULD England relive the nightmare of Belo Horizonte next month, then David Moyes will have a lot to answer for. As a proud Scot, the Everton manager would no doubt take great delight in seeing the Auld Enemy tumble to defeat in their World Cup opener against the USA. After all, Moyes will have helped hone the talents of two of the greatest threats to England progressing to the knockout stages.
Tim Howard’s reputation continues to be enhanced, and at the other end of the field Landon Donovan has emerged as a genuine talent.USA captain Donovan made a huge impression after joining Everton on a 10-week loan from Los Angeles Galaxy in January, adding an extra dimension to the attack, bagging a couple of goals and earning the instant adoration of the fans. “My experience puts me in a stronger position for the World Cup,” admits Donovan. “The biggest plus is I now have the confidence to play against anybody and not fear anyone or team at all.“My game has improved so much from playing in England, but I believe in my ability and what I can do.“I know what I have to give and I bring that out of myself a lot more often.
“It’s been really great and I can’t imagine many players in the world, let alone Americans, can say they have played against and beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in the space of 10 days. That has to be the highlight. “It’s absolutely improved me as a player, it’s impossible not to.”
Everton FC and Newcastle United can forget Adam insists Blackpool FC boss Holloway
by Jack Failsworth. Published Mon 07 Jun 2010 20:30, Last updated: 2010-06-07
Everton FC and Newcastle United can forget Adam insists Blackpool FC boss Holloway Blackpool FC boss Ian Holloway has told Charlie Adam’s prospective suitors the midfielder is staying at Bloomfield Road. Adam has been linked with a big money move to Everton and it is understood the likes of Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic are interested. But Holloway told the Blackpool Gazette: "Just before the kick-off at Wembley, Charlie ran over to me and I gave him a bit of a hug and said in his ear 'You were born for this day'. "If we hadn't got promoted, I think he'd have been gone already. "But now we've gone up, I don't think wild horses would be able to drag him away." Adam continues to be linked with the Toffees – his agent, Kenny Moyes, is the brother of boss David – and has also been watched by the Latics and the Magpies. It is also understood that Middlesbrough offered £2m in January but were knocked back.
Landon Donovan – Playing for Everton FC helped boost my confidence as a player
Jun 8 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
USA forward Landon Donovan has told England his side have nothing to fear ahead of Saturday’s World Cup clash in Rustenburg. Donovan believes his successful spell on loan to Everton from the Los Angeles Galaxy last season has given him confidence for the Group C meeting with Fabio Capello’s side. But he concedes the USA could play to their maximum potential and still be beaten because of the quality in the England squad. Donovan, the USA’s all-time leading scorer with 42 goals, said: “I had a great spell with Everton and that gives me confidence going into the England game. “I played against a lot of their players, and so have a lot of our guys, so we have a respect for their team. “But we certainly don’t fear them. “We feel they are a team we can compete with. “We are always confident. “But we are playing one of the best teams in the world so we could play very well, play at our very best, and still not beat England. “We are going to focus on what we can do, play as well as we can, and see what happens.” Donovan believes England will overcome the loss of skipper and key central defender Rio Ferdinand from the tournament because of his knee problem.
He said: “Anytime you lose your captain and a player of Rio’s calibre, it is going to hurt. “But the beauty in the English squad is that they have a lot of players who can step in easily so it is still going to be a difficult game for us.”
Everton FC star Tim Cahill insists Steven Pienaar should think hard before quitting the Blues
Jun 8 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIM Cahill has urged team-mate Steven Pienaar to think hard before potentially turning his back on Everton. The 30-year-old Aussie midfielder is alarmed at the prospect of his club losing Pienaar’s talents in the summer, although he admits it remains a possibility. But Cahill, who scored Australia’s only goal in a 3-1 World Cup warm-up defeat by the USA on Saturday, insists Pienaar is at the right club for him already. Echoing the sentiment of his manager David Moyes, Cahill said: “Pienaar is a great player, a good character who is good for this team and we are good for him.
"I have to respect his decision because I am a professional and I know that he is one of the biggest players for South Africa. “Losing him would be a big loss but I think he needs to see what he would be losing if he left Everton. Hopefully we will sign him because it is a pleasure playing with him.” Cahill made signing a new four year deal with the Blues a priority before jetting off to marry his girlfriend, and then join Australia’s World Cup training squad in Sydney. Jack Rodwell has since followed Cahill's lead in extending his Everton contract, but doubts remain over Steven Pienaar. The South African midfielder is approaching the final year of his deal at Goodison and has resisted the offer of a new deal that would give him parity with the highest earners in Moyes's squad. While Tottenham, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are among Pienaar’s admirers, the silky-skilled star has spoken of his feeling of loyalty towards David Moyes. He said: “The gaffer has always been there to help me. He’s the one who took me to England and had a lot of confidence in me.
“When someone shows you that kind of respect you really want to pay them back someday and all I had to do was work very hard because I knew the talent was there. He demands a lot from the players and always emphasises teamwork. “I’ve often wondered when he gets chance to go to sleep because he is the hardest working manager I’ve ever come across and that has rubbed off on his players as well.
“Everyone has to give 100% no matter how good you are.” Meanwhile, Cahill recalled his pride at first seeing Australian fans wearing his number 17 Everton shirt at international matches. He said: “I saw Everton jerseys at every Australia game in the last World Cup and when we qualified against Croatia there was one close to me, so I went into the crowd and swapped jerseys. “It was a big moment in my life and something I'll never forget. “It's priceless when I play for Australia and see an Everton shirt in the crowd, or when I play for Everton and there's an Aussie supporter there, and that was the most prized possession I have given away.” Cahill reflected on how much his profile has grown back in his home-land since his debut heroics in the 2006 tournament. He said: “They knew who I was in Australia in 2006, but not to a great extent. “Now, with the momentum of a second World Cup, it has gone crazy. I've been doing advertising campaigns with Kaká and Wayne Rooney, and other big players throughout the world, bringing out a DVD. “It's been invigorating and I've enjoyed it, but there are so many things I've done that have been hard to take in. I remember cleaning boots at Millwall on £250 a week and feeling like a millionaire.
“I'd made it then. At that time, if I never played for another club it wouldn't have bothered me too much because I'd made it with a football team in England.
“I knew then that, no matter what happened, I would be able to tell my kids I made it with a professional club in England. That was probably one of the happiest times in my career.” The midfielder, whose 20 goals in 40 international appearances explain his current A-List Australia, realises that demands have changed since 2006.
He said: "There is increased expectation on us this time, maybe among the fans but definitely among the media. "It's such a hard group. Germany, Serbia and Ghana; they are all play-off matches and if you get through the group, anything is possible. That's the special thing about this World Cup. I don't think there is one big country that is nailed on to dominate.”
Everton FC's Tim Howard hails England’s Wayne Rooney as world's best striker
Jun 8 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD has hailed Wayne Rooney as the best striker in the world as he prepares to face his former team-mate on Saturday. Everton’s goalkeeper will come face to face with the former Goodison prodigy during England’s opening World Cup game against the USA in Rustenburg on Saturday. Howard, 31, has first-hand experience of Rooney from their two years together at Manchester United before he moved to Everton in 2006 after the signing of Edwin van der Sar. He believes there is none better than the 24-year-old who is pivotal to England’s hopes of glory in South Africa. But Howard has also been impressed by the current USA strike partnership of Edson Buddle and Robert Findley who looked sharp during the weekend victory over Australia in Johannesburg. He said: “I get asked if I am looking forward to facing Wayne Rooney. I don’t think I ever look forward to facing Wayne Rooney.
“He is the best striker in the world and has enjoyed a fantastic season. He is a fantastic player, so I’ll be very careful what I say. But we also have Edson and Robbie who are playing fantastic together, individually and collectively, with the way they are linking up. “They looked dangerous against Australia and hopefully they will be dangerous for a few more games coming up. It seems everything Edson touches is a goal and Robbie is creating so many chances. It is important the guys are clicking for what is basically a three-game tournament [to qualify] - and those guys are at the moment.”
Howard is disappointed that another former United team-mate in England skipper Rio Ferdinand will miss the tournament through his knee ligament injury suffered in training on Friday. But he is confident Fabio Capello’s side will recover from this setback in time for the USA clash. Howard said: “I am devastated for Rio as I am sure most of his team-mates and his friends are. I don’t know how it will affect the team but I think they are all very strong characters. As the week goes on, I am sure they will be fully prepared for the game ahead.” Howard has also joined the growing list of players criticising the new Adidas World Cup ball. He said: “It’s terrible. You will hear that a lot next week, next month. We are trying to get used to it, trying to read an unreadable situation. “Hopefully it’s not going to come back and bite us but you are going to see some crazy things with the ball. a better question,” he continued. “It moves all over. If you hit five balls with the same striking motion you wouldn’t get the same result.” “When you see how the ball is, you’ll find a lot of teams struggle. The majority of the problems in our warm-up game were due to the flight of the ball,” Howard added. “It puts defenders under pressure. We’re going to have to do some work this week so that we can judge the ball better.” Meanwhile, the new rival for Howard’s number one jersey at Goodison is looking forward to impressing Evertonians as he stars in Slovakia’s first ever World Cup. Jan Mucha, 27, joined from Polish side Legia Warsaw last month, and has already insisted he is not simply content to sit on the bench for the Blues. He said: “I am looking forward to the World Cup this summer. Slovakia are going to the World Cup finals for the first time in their history. “It means this summer’s tournament and my move to Everton are the best steps in my career so far.” Slovakia are joined in Group F by defending champions Italy and Paraguay, with New Zealand their opponents in the opening game on Tuesday 15 June. “On paper I would say this is not the most difficult group but it has some strong teams,” said Mucha. “Obviously Italy are the current World champions while Paraguay are also a strong side so we will have to see.”
Everton boss David Moyes chases Manchester City Star
Daily Mirror, June 8 2010
By Alan Nixon
EVERTON boss David Moyes is ready to join the race for Manchester City’s £4million-rated defender Nedum Onuoha. Sunderland have already tabled a bid for the England Under-21 star, who could be squeezed out of Eastlands with the arrival of more new faces this summer. And the Goodison chief will make a move for the home-grown prospect, who can play right-back or centre-half, if he is given any encouragement by City or the player. Onuoha would still love to carry on with his boyhood team, but Black Cats boss Steve Bruce sees him as a vital piece of his defensive jigsaw and is also close to landing Argentinian right-back Marcos Angeleri. But Onuoha would seek talks with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to thrash out his future before making any decision.
He was in and out of the team after the appointment of Mancini in December, but the signing of Jerome Boateng from Hamburg pushes him down the pecking order.
The City star has risen through the ranks and may finally move on despite various clubs trying and failing to tempt him away in the past.
Everton FC manager David Moyes rejects the chance to sign Philippe Senderos joins Fulham
June 9 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES has declined the opportunity to sign Philippe Senderos after the defender joined Fulham yesterday. Senderos arrived at Everton in January with the club taking over the remaining six months of his contract from Arsenal.
The Switzerland international was keen to win a permanent move to Goodison but a combination of injury problems and the return to fitness of Phil Jagielka meant he was restricted to just three appearances. And that was not enough to convince Moyes, the Everton manager opting not to pursue a free transfer for the player who will now move to Fulham after the World Cup. Moyes, however, is still eager to bolster his resources having already signed Jermaine Beckford from Leeds United.
The Goodison manager is considering a number of options, one of which, Bulgaria international winger Martin Petrov, was yesterday released by Manchester City.
Tim Cahill believes Asian teams could threaten a surprise in the forthcoming World Cup finals. Cahill was part of the Australia team that went through the Asian qualifying for the first time to reach South Africa. And the Everton midfield reckons the likes of South Korea, Japan and Australia themselves can cause an upset – but backs Spain to win and Steven Gerrard to be the tournament’s top scorer.
“I think there’s an outside chance an Asian team could do well, if only because we know how difficult it is to qualify from that group,” said Cahill. “Maybe a lot of people will take them for granted. “Who do I think will win the World Cup? I’m a big fan of Spain. I love watching their players, they are a pleasure to watch. They are masters of how the game should be played. “And I think Steven Gerrard can be top scorer. Playing against him, he is someone that can change a game, and I think his form can come good in the World Cup.” However, Cahill’s Everton team-mate Steven Pienaar reckons the trophy is heading elsewhere. “For me, Argentina are the favourites to go and win it,” said the South Africa international, whose team kick-off the tournament against Mexico on Friday afternoon. “The last World Cup they did well, this time around they had a tough time qualifying but they have got the players that can rise to the occasion. They also want to do it for Maradona and for their country.” Meanwhile, Everton striker Yakubu, who will represent Nigeria in South Africa, is anticipating a goal-laden finals. “It is unbelievable when you hear how many goals were scored (at the last World Cup) but I think there will be more goals this summer because every country and every player has improved,” said the forward.
“The strikers aren’t the only ones who can score goals too because they can come from midfield and defence. I think there will be more goals in this World Cup definitely. “I would love to be the top scorer! For me as a striker I want to score goals in a World Cup. It won’t be easy but I believe in myself.”
Everton FC duo Yakubu and Yobo set to line up for Nigeria against Argentina at World Cup 2010
Jun 9 2010 Liverpool Echo
NIGERIA coach Lars Lagerback has revealed that he now knows which 11 players will start their opening match of the World Cup against Argentina on Saturday.
And Everton duo Joseph Yobo and Yakubu look set to be involved.
Both featured for The Super Eagles in their 3-1 win over North Korea at the weekend, and Lagerback said: “I already know the 11 players to start the game, unless something happens to bring a change. “It was a good performance (against Korea), I was very impressed. “There was a lot of improvement and I believe that as the tournament goes on, the players will keep improving.”
Everton FC fans letters: Jermaine Beckford deal is good business for Blues
Jun 9 2010
I THINK Jermaine Beckford will be a good addition to the squad – he has pace, can head and score. What more would we want for no transfer fee? Especially as Saha is injury prone, the Yak has not been at his best since his injury and Anichebe will never be anymore than a bit-part player. Joleon2, via email
JERMAINE BECKFORD has signed a four-year deal, on a free, and he’s scored 85 goals in 152 appearances for Leeds – I’ve got a feeing this lad will do the business for us, though I did think the same about James Beattie. Regarding those who want to leave early, as long as the replacements are brought in early and not at the 11th hour, as per usual. Beckford will be a good addition to the squad and he’ll get chances to perform this coming season. I just hope he gets the service to score the goals.
Bluewings, via email
IT WOULD be senseless to sell Yakubu now after giving him so much game time last season to get back in shape. I think he’ll be back to his best next season and looking like the 20-goal striker that he is when fully fit. Plus, no doubt West Ham want to offer us £5million and a pot of jellied eels by way of payment. staygold, via email
IT’S well known that Everton are strapped for cash so what does the club do?
Bring out an awful new kit which, going off many Blues fan sites and my Evertonian friends, hardly anyone is going to buy, thus costing the club much needed finance.
This just about sums up Kenwright’s shoddy regime.
Zoe H, Huyton.
IT’S early days yet and we don’t want a repeat of the Lescott drama, but let’s wait and see before we start throwing mud at Steven Pienaar. I was interested in Dave Prentice’s take on it when he questioned Pienaar possibly wanting to move for more money, and asked why he’d want to move for, say, another £10,000 a week.
It took me back to Rooney’s move to Manchester. I can’t guarantee my accuracy here but I think he was on £16,000 when he scored ‘that’ goal against Arsenal, and that he was on £35,000 at the time he moved to Old Trafford. My point is this – Pienaar isn’t an Everton supporter, though he must have a lot of affection for the club. Rooney was an Everton supporter, so why would anyone, at 18 years of age and on £35,000 a week, want to move for more money? I know this is about Pienaar, but I’m still bitter about Rooney’s betrayal, because I don’t understand it. And I don’t want to hear anyone say that he moved to win trophies. If you look at Everton’s progress since he left, it’s quite likely that he would have been the difference between being close to it, and actually winning the UEFA and FA Cups.
Jezza, via email
Everton FC star Tim Cahill admits this summer is massive at Goodison Park
Jun 9 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL has labelled this summer the most important in his time at Everton.
The Aussie will be playing in the World Cup during his sixth post-season as a Toffee, but his mind will rarely be away from developments at Goodison Park.
Cahill, 30, who was forced to sit out training in South Africa with the Socceroos yesterday due to a neck injury, believes that keeping Everton’s current squad together will ensure an exciting season ahead. But he is aware that being in the World Cup spotlight could make it harder for David Moyes to keep hold of his stars.
He said: “This is a massive summer for Everton. I think this is the biggest time. We are going into a World Cup, players are on show, and if a player has a half decent World Cup then everyone wants to sign them. “Hopefully we can get players signed up and then we can concentrate on having a really good pre-season and the manager won't have any worries. There is always pressure on every season but I honestly believe next season can be really exciting for Everton.” The midfielder believes his team-mates’ form in the second half of last season proves what they are capable of when the new campaign kicks off in August. He said: “I think we have shown that we can achieve something next season. Two losses in 24 games is a platform to achieve something big. “That's why I'm saying this summer is such a big one for us, for keeping players and not allowing the World Cup to distract us. If you assess our squad I think we can be up there challenging next season. This is a special time for us and we cannot stop now.” Meanwhile, defender Phillippe Senderos has joined Fulham on a three-year deal after David Moyes declined to offer him a permanent deal at Goodsion Park. The Switzerland international is currently preparing for the World Cup finals in South Africa – but wanted to resolve his future before their opening game against Spain next week. The 25-year-old was out-of-contract at Arsenal and he had already decided his future lies away from the Emirates. Senderos joined Arsenal at the end of 2002 from Servette, but he has played just over 50 games for The Gunners. He was allowed to go on loan to AC Milan and then Everton after Arsene Wenger lost faith in him. The centre-half only made three appearances for the Blues; including one in their Europa League defeat away to Sporting Lisbon.
STEVEN PIENAAR'S WORLD CUP DIARY: Winning rugby's World Cup was great but this could be even bigger!
By Steven Pienaar
July 9 2010 The Daily Mail
I never dreamed of this moment as a child, it did not seem possible. Just to dream of being a footballer in a township like Westbury was enough then but now I dream of being the first South African to score in our own World Cup. And in South Africa we know how dreams can become reality. We have come through a lot as a country and this World Cup means everything. We feel the weight of responsibility resting upon us but not as a burden, the people here want to embrace it warmly and put on a fantastic show. This is probably the biggest sporting event in the world and the name of South Africa is at stake. Everyone wants to make sure the world knows it is a beautiful place full of hope. Sport here has broken down so many barriers and we want this to continue. We have made great strides in a short space of time. Politically, economically, socially. The racial issues have not gone away but we all remember what it was like. Few people here are unscathed from our past, from apartheid, but we are progressing. I have said I wanted to cry when I watched the film Invictus about the Rugby World Cup in 1995 because it evoked so many memories from the past. And it’s true. I was beaten up because of my colour, shot at with ball-bearings, a friend of mine was shot dead. My mother Denise told me how she was abused for walking in the wrong place. But there was a change. We had celebrated in the streets when Nelson Mandela I was at school at the time of the Rugby World Cup. We were packed into tents watching the final. There were a lot of white Afrikaners in my school but we were allowed to watch the games together for the first time.
It was difficult for the Afrikaners to cheer a black guy in public at that time but it happened. Madiba, as Mandela is known, made it happen and hopefully he can touch us again in the way he did with Francois Pienaar and his team. Pride of a nation: Nelson Mandela's achievements and support are an inspiration to Pienaar and his team-mates We met Madiba last week. He looks frail but still has a great aura about him. It is like meeting your own father — the Father of the Nation. It’s always a very special moment for me. The story goes that football played a big part in keeping up his spirits while he was imprisoned, that it brought him and his inmates closer together in bad times. It makes the game so powerful, so symbolic for us.
This World Cup can have greater influence on changing the country than the Rugby World Cup. That put infrastructures in place. It encouraged businesses and sponsors but this can hopefully develop the country again; create jobs and provide the financial platform for people to keep them. Yes there is crime — just like any other country. There is still great poverty. But the people care and they have great resilience.
Even when I was growing up in Westbury, just outside Johannesburg, my mother always made sure we carried on life as normal. You never realised how tough it was.
You wouldn’t play in the park as mum feared you had more chance of being attacked or shot by gangs so we would play for hours in the street just with stones for goalposts. If you had a new football you wouldn’t go out of the yard.
But I never missed a day of school. Mum always drilled into me the importance of study and to have a strong faith in God. I loved my football. I watched Orlando Pirates and my favourite player was Ernest Makhanya because he was very skilful and thankfully things turned out well for me. My family and friends are still there in Westbury. They will be watching on television and this will be an incredible moment for all of us. As a player I have been able to travel the world but I always believe I am fortunate to come from South Africa. It is the most beautiful country in the world and we want to do it proud. Maybe we can create our own piece of history.
Everton FC sign Portuguese striking starlet Joao Silva
July 10 2010 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON have completed the expected signing of highly-rated Portuguese striker Joao Silva. Goodison officials flew to Portugal this week to conclude the transfer after agreeing an undisclosed fee with the 20-year-old’s club Desportivo Das Aves.
The forward, who has played for Portugal’s under-20 side, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal. Silva has just ended the season as the second top scorer in Portugal’s second tier after netting 14 goals in 32 appearances for Aves. The striker will now move to Merseyside before linking up with the Everton squad at the start of July for the pre-season tour to Australia. Silva is David Moyes’s third new arrival this summer following Slovakia goalkeeper Jan Mucha and forward Jermaine Beckford from Leeds United. However, Everton look set to miss out on another target with Standard Liege striker Dieumerci Mbokani having expressed an interest in sealing a move to Fulham.
The DR Congo international striker is set to leave the club this summer after three years with Liege, during which time he has scored over 30 goals. Everton were among a number of Premier League sides to have watched Mbokani, but now it appears the 24-year-old is set for Craven Cottage. Standard director Pierre Francois and CEO Luciano D’Onofrio were in London earlier this week, and it is believed they held talks with Fulham over a deal that could be worth up to £8million. “I knew that Fulham are interested, I also know that Lucien D’Onorfio promised to help me get a transfer a year ago and he will respect his word,” said Mbokani. “I now hope that Standard will find common ground with Fulham, a club I feel is ideal.” Mbokani’s agent, Fabio Baglio, said: “Fulham is not the only club interested in Dieumerci, but I consider Fulham the best option. “I assume that the management of Standard and I will have contact once they have reached agreement and then everything will proceed.”
Meanwhile, Tim Cahill believes Everton must recruit wisely this summer if they are to build on their strong end to the season in which they lost only two of their last 24 Premier League games. “This is a massive summer for Everton,” said the Australian.
“I think this is the biggest time. “We are going into a World Cup, players are on show, and if a player has a half-decent World Cup then everyone wants to sign them.
“Hopefully we can get players signed up and then we can concentrate on having a really good pre-season and the manager won’t have any worries. There is always pressure on every season but I honestly believe next season can be really exciting for Everton.” The Australian midfielder added: “I think we have shown that we can achieve something next season. “Two losses in 24 games is a platform to achieve something big. “That’s why I’m saying this summer is such a big one for us, for keeping players and not allowing the World Cup to distract us. “If you assess our squad I think we can be up there challenging next season. “This is a special time for us and we cannot stop now.”
Phil Neville's World Cup column: Why USA fancy their chances of shocking Fabio Capello and England
Jun 10 2010 Liverpool Echo
CONFIDENCE is not a virtue that Americans can ever be accused of lacking and, as the big showdown with England in Rustenburg creeps closer, their belief is building.
Let me tell you why. I’ve been fortunate to spend some time in Los Angeles this summer and, to keep up with my rehabilitation programme following knee surgery, I’ve been a regular visitor to the Home Depot Center, LA Galaxy’s training base.
Listening to the players speak over there – and, of course, from having regular contact with Tim Howard and Landon Donovan – I can tell you now the USA strongly fancy their chances of repeating their 1950 heroics by beating England at the World Cup.
It’s easy to see why. England are habitual slow starters in major tournaments and, on the back of some less than impressive performances in their warm-up friendlies, some who were confident heading to South Africa are now a little edgy about our prospects.
The USA, meanwhile, go into the game without the slightest bit of pressure on them.
I’ve even asked Galaxy’s head coach Bruce Arena – who once held the same position with the USA team – what his pal Bob Bradley might do to try and outwit Fabio Capello. He said they are going to play one defender and nine forwards – and that shows their current frame of mind. Tim and Landon have been pumped up for it since January and they will be ready to give the performance of their lives. But before we start writing off England without a ball being kicked, just consider a couple of things. Firstly, the friendlies. Don’t read anything into those performances – gauge Capello’s team on what they did in an impressive qualifying campaign. What’s more, the group from which England have to extricate themselves is not the most difficult imaginable. In good form or not, I’d still expect them to beat both Algeria and Slovenia and also be good enough to see off the USA. There is no way I want to be going into the Home Depot Center on Monday to be on the receiving end of a load of stick but, having watched the USA play Australia last weekend, I don’t think that will be the case.
For starters, look at what happened to ‘T How’ – he, almost unbelievably, let Tim Cahill score against him and that has guaranteed he will get hammered by everyone at Everton from the word ‘go’ next season! In all seriousness, though, I have every confidence that Capello’s preparations have been geared up to see England flourish in the quarter-finals and beyond – and a win on Saturday night will help the Three Lions get into the perfect rhythm.
Good to see Stevie as England World Cup skipper
IT has been quite amazing to see the amount of players who have been injured before the tournament, not least England losing their captain, Rio Ferdinand.
Yes, it is a blow because Rio is a very classy defender but central defence is an area where England have terrific cover. Ledley King, for one, has enough talent to fill his shoes and then, of course, there is Jamie Carragher. He has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League for the past five or six years and has a wealth of experience; it looks a very astute decision by Fabio Capello to lure him out of retirement. People will also wonder what will happen with the captaincy now Rio is gone – all I can say on the matter is that I hope Steven Gerrard becomes the skipper for England that he has been for Liverpool in recent years. I played in the England team in which Steven made his debut in May 2000 against Ukraine and right from the stage when he was a young lad, you could see he was going to be a leader.
When John Terry was stripped of the armband, I thought Steven was unlucky not to get the nod ahead of Rio but now that he has got possession I don’t think there will be any complaints.
I hope Lionel Messi is World Cup shining star
THERE is no other tournament quite like the World Cup for enhancing a player’s reputation and you only have to look through the record books to see it.
Mexico 1986, for example, was all about Diego Maradona; four years later in Italy, there was Paul Gascoigne, while France 1998 and Japan 2002 belonged to Zinedine Zidane and the Brazilian striker Ronaldo respectively. This year, I’m hoping that Lionel Messi comes up with the goods. He is the most talked about player on the planet at the moment and he has the swaggering skill to make the World Cup finals come alive. If he clicks into top gear, Argentina will have an outstanding chance of going all the way; you tune into these games hoping to see someone take themselves to another level and if Messi can do that, we will all be in for a treat.
Landon Donovan leans on his Everton FC experience to beat England
Jun 10 2010 Liverpool Echo
UNITED STATES forward Landon Donovan believes his loan spell with Everton last season can help play a part in plotting England’s downfall on Saturday. Donovan spent two and a half months at Goodison Park during the close season of his parent club, Los Angeles Galaxy, and quickly became a fans’ favourite. But he also feels the experience helped him to find out the qualities of some of the England players he will come face to face with in Rustenburg. Donovan, his country’s record scorer with 42 goals, said: “In my opinion, England are one of the top teams in the world and top teams don’t have any weaknesses. “It would be hard for me to point anywhere and find a weakness in their team. “But the experience at Everton was valuable in a lot of ways, for me personally and also in getting the chance to play against some of the players we will see on Saturday. “It also gave me the ability to understand the way their league is, the way and style most teams play in their league. “Those are all beneficial things to us. Will it have a huge impact on the game, probably not.
“But having some comfort in that way will be helpful on Saturday.” Donovan was in action for The Toffees against Chelsea in the game where Ashley Cole broke his ankle and put his doubts of playing in the World Cup in jeopardy for a spell.
The 28-year-old has not had any contact since with the left-back but has no doubts about his qualities. He said: “When Ashley Cole got injured, nothing was going through my mind. I was playing the game. “I didn’t get in touch with Ashley but he is a fantastic player, one of the top two or three left-backs in the world, and he is going to be a very good player for them.” USA striker Jozy Altidore is set to be available to face England after recovering from an ankle problem. Coach Bob Bradley is also confident defender Oguchi Onyewu will be fit enough to play 90 minutes if selected after seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Joe Cole is determined to shelve any thoughts about his future until after the World Cup.
Chelsea confirmed earlier today that Cole’s seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge had come to an end, leaving him free to find a new club in time for next season.
Tottenham, whose manager Harry Redknapp guided Cole through his formative years at West Ham, currently head a queue that also contains Arsenal and both Manchester clubs. Yet the least interested person in discussing his future is Cole himself.
A player of such high quality hardly needs to worry about whether he is going to find a club, so he is remaining totally focused on England’s World Cup campaign.
“Chelsea is not a distraction,” he said. “My agent is doing it. That is what he is there for. I don’t want to be told what is happening until after the World Cup.
“The manager doesn’t want any distractions – and rightly so. “You only get a few chances in your career to win a World Cup. Next year will sort itself out.
“The World Cup is so important; for the punters, for the players and myself. Every minute of the day is taken up with doing the best that I can at this World Cup.”
For a vast portion of this season, it appeared as though Cole would have all summer to contemplate his next move. With his Chelsea contract running down, the 29-year-old struggled to establish himself in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and when he was omitted from Capello’s squad for the March friendly with Egypt on the grounds of poor form, there was real doubt over Cole’s presence in South Africa. But, after forcing his way in, Cole then sealed a place on the plane that left Heathrow a week ago with an eye-catching second-half display in the recent friendly win over Japan in Graz.
“I never feared my England days were over but it did cross my mind I might not make it to this tournament,” he said. “It is tough for a manager to pick a player who is not playing regularly and, rightly or wrongly, I was used as more of an impact player at Chelsea last season. “But my form for England has always stood up against anybody in my position. I am proud of that. “I enjoy the pace of international football. It suits my game. If I get the chance I will take it. I am one of those players that I need to play games continuously. I am back to my best now – and I want to show it.”
Everton FC sign Joao Silva but may miss out on Dieumerci Mbokani
Jun 10 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have completed the signing of highly-rated Portugese striker Joao Silva – but could miss out on another of their summer targets. The club have tied up a deal for the 20-year-old forward for an undisclosed fee from Portuguese side Desportivo Das Aves. But another player David Moyes has been monitoring, Standard Liege striker Dieumerci Mbokani is in talks over a move to Fulham. Blues officials flew to Portugal this week to conclude the Silva deal, and the talented youngster has penned a three-year contract. The 6'2" forward scored 14 goals in 32 appearances for Aves last term, which was his first season since graduating to the professional ranks, and became the second top scorer in the Liga Vitalis, Portugal's second tier.
He will now move to Merseyside before linking up with the Everton squad for next month’s pre-season tour of Australia. However, Congo international striker Mbokani has stated his interest in moving to West London. Standard director Pierre Francois and CEO Luciano D'Onofrio were in the capital on Tuesday to discuss an £8m deal with Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed, as West Ham and Blackburn were also rumoured to be interested. David Moyes made a personal check on Mbokani in Standard Liege's Europa Cup quarter-final defeat by Hamburg last season, after being alerted to his goalscoring prowess and apparent eagerness to quit Belgian football.
Mbokani has enjoyed three years with Liege, during which time he has scored over 30 goals. He said: “I knew that Fulham are interested, I also know that Lucien D'Onorfio promised to help me get a transfer a year ago and he will respect his word.
“I now hope that Standard will find common ground with Fulham, a club I feel is ideal.” The player's agent Fabio Baglio has also admitted Fulham were keen. “Fulham is not the only club interested in Dieumerci, but I consider Fulham the best option,” he said. “I assume that the management of Stanard and I will have contact once they have reached agreement and then everything will proceed.”
How Sportsmail columnist Steven Pienaar has joined forces with Nelson Mandela to lift South Africa
By Sportsmail Reporter
The Daily Mail July 10 2010
Steven Pienaar, who will be writing for Sportsmail throughout the World Cup, is an ambassador for the adidas UMU campaign. All profits from the campaign will be donated to Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Foundation. UMU stands for Unite Mzansi Unite - Mzansi means ‘South Africa’ in the Nguni Bantu language and was created to inspire the world to celebrate diversity in unity. And, at the same time, raise funds for Mandela’s foundation At a series of events across South Africa, local towns are being brought together to celebrate the finals and help secure a legacy after the World Cup is over. Funds will also be raised through the sale of UMUs - a unique, multi-functional yellow product which allows each individual to wear it how they want - from headband to scarf, beanie to wristband. Mandela’s 46664 foundation is an initiative to inspire individual and collective action towards the eradication of HIV and AIDS.
The campaign raises awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the underlying issues that influence it, such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, lack of access to health facilities and the denial of economic opportunities.
The aim is to reach the youth of the world and engage the support of the people who most appeal to them. For more information about the adidas
David Prentice: Everton FC fans who really know their history
June 11 2008 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTONIANS are proud of their terrace hymn. “If you know your history . . .” isn’t a question, it’s a statement. And there are an enormous number of A* School of Science students out there. From my good friend Dr David France to the vener- able writer Peter Lupson; from website creator Billy Smith to that fan who appeared on Mastermind answering questions about Dixie Dean. But even their knowledge and obsession to royal blue detail pales in comparison to some of the Gwladys Street’s finest. Check out last week’s Football Echo, where Greg O’Keeffe’s Royal Blue column rivalled an Agatha Christie whodunnit – but much more readable. http://tinyurl.com/33lkbxa – and don’t miss tomorrow’s Football Echo for the secret to be revealed. Greg Murphy was the Royal Blue sleuth responsible for revealing Goodison Park’s mystery man in the mosaic, but if he’s the Sam Spade of the Everton world, Mike Owen is the Philip Marlowe. And last week Owen unearthed the following coincidence. Goodison Park was, after Wembley, the most used stadium in the 1966 World Cup finals. The Chilean Everton’s Sausalito Stadium was, after the national stadium in Santiago, the most used stadium in the 1962 finals.In ’66 Goodison hosted all of Brazil’s group games, a quarter-final and a semi. Four years earlier the Sausalito hosted all of Brazil’s group games, a quarter-final and a semi. In 1966 the host nation was due to play a semi-final at Everton’s ground but, amid controversy, the game was switched at the 11th hour to the national stadium in the capital. In 1962, yes you’ve guessed it, Chile switched from the Sausalito to Santiago in a similar furore. Two Evertons, separated by the Andes, Amazon and Atlantic, but such a remarkable link. CD Everton’s Comm- ercial Director revealed last week that the Chileans are genuinely excited about the planned pre-season friendly.
Probably not half as much as School of Science graduates Murphy and Owen.
Everton FC's Steven Pienaar calls for South Africa team effort at the World Cup
Jun 11 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
STEVEN PIENAAR insists only a solid team effort can take South Africa to World Cup glory. The Everton midfielder initially struggled to make an impact on the international stage after debuting for the Bafana Bafana in 2002. But he enters the tournament with the weight of the host nation's expectations on his shoulders after delivering some superb displays both during South Africa's Conferations Cup campaign last year and with the Toffees. South Africa will take on Mexico in the World Cup opener today, and 28-year-old Pienaar has called for his side to perform as a team. “Now we have the World Cup and it's a big ask but I know I have my team-mates to support me,” Pienaar said. “We have to be together and hopefully we can satisfy the people by doing that. When the team is playing good and we are winning, there won't be any talk about just Steven Pienaar, it will be the whole team.”
Pienaar has heaped praise on Everton manager David Moyes, insisting the boss has had a huge impact on his career. “I've often wondered when he gets chance to go to sleep because he is the hardest working manager I've ever come across,” he said.
“The gaffer has always been there to help me. He's the one who took me to England and had a lot of confidence in me. “When someone shows you that kind of respect you really want to pay them back someday.” Pienaar has enjoyed improved goal-scoring with the Toffees this season and is hoping to carry that form into the World Cup having bagged just two goals in 50 appearances for his country. “I think it's because I'm more of a team player but my coaches have always wanted me to score more goals,” he added. “I've been trying to be more selfish and shooting instead of passing sometimes and my composure has definitely improved. But I would be happy if I didn't score any and the team won.” Meanwhile, Carlos Alberto Parreira has warned his South Africa side of the threat posed by what he describes as “the most daring team” at the World Cup ahead of their showdown with Mexico at Soccer City.
“As much as the pressure is big, it’s a World Cup game, it’s sort of a war,” he said. “Opening games are always difficult, there is lots of pressure, the whole country is involved and you are playing under the eyes of the world.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he would pick Everton FC’s Steven Pienaar for the Gunners
Jun 11 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
STEVEN PIENAAR will kick-off the World Cup today as a confirmed Arsenal target.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has declared that the Everton midfielder – still to commit to a new contract at Goodison – would get into his Arsenal team and admitted he is monitoring the midfielder’s progress. Wenger added that he is a long-term admirer of Pienaar, and believes the 28-year-old was one of the best players in the Premier League last season. Arsenal are one of several clubs linked with a move for the 28-year-old since his contract negotiations with Everton reached impasse.
Wenger faces the prospect of losing his most influential midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, to Barcelona after the World Cup and would be guaranteed a huge budget for his replacement. Now the Frenchman has fuelled speculation he could move for £15m-rated Pienaar, by explaining that he has been watching the South African’s career since he played for Ajax. He said: “He would get into the Arsenal team, yes. I always had an eye on him since he was at Ajax. “I believe that he has grown this year, He was usually a very busy player where the final ball was missing a little bit, but this year he has gained in personality, and he has kept his work-rate, so he has been much more efficient. “I believe what also played a big role in his growth was that Arteta was not there for a while, and that he had to take the responsibility of being the play-maker of the team. In fairness, he was one of the best players in England this year.”
Meanwhile, new Everton striker Joao Silva turned down a move to Portuguese top flight runners-up Sporting Club de Braga to join the Toffees. The 20-year-old, who signed a three-year deal on Merseyside yesterday, was offered a move to Braga, who will play Champions League football next season, but instead chose Everton.
Elsewhere, World Cup winner Gordon Banks believes the USA will have the best goalkeeper on the pitch when they face England tomorrow. The 1966 legend has singled Tim Howard out for praise ahead of the Group C opener in Rustenburg.
He said: “Tim might even be better than David James. I really like Tim Howard. In fact I was very surprised when Ferguson sold him, I really was.” Back in March, Banks paid a special visit to Everton’s Finch Farm training complex. The England legend met manager David Moyes, Tim Howard and goalkeeping coach Chris Woods – who himself won 43 caps for the Three Lions.
Gordon Banks says Everton FC’s Tim Howard is better than England’s goalkeepers
Jun 11 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post
ENGLAND legend Gordon Banks believes Tim Howard will be the best goalkeeper on the pitch when England face the USA tomorrow.
Everton keeper Howard is likely to face opposite number David James as the two nations meet in Group C to get their World Cup campaigns underway in Rustenburg.
While Portsmouth goalkeeper, James, is favourite to get the nod over West Ham’s Robert Green and Manchester City youngster Joe Hart, Howard is a certain starter for the United States. “I really like Tim Howard,” said Banks. “Tim might even be better than David James. “In fact I was very surprised when Alex Ferguson sold him, I really was.” Meanwhile, Howard claims the experience of last year’s Confederations Cup in South Africa will stand the USA in good stead in the coming weeks. Howard picked up the Golden Glove award as the United States defeated European champions Spain in the semi-final to set up a final with Brazil. Despite letting a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 in Johannesburg, Howard says the USA players took plenty of positives from the tournament and will benefit from being in familiar surroundings again.
“We did well in the Confederations Cup last year in South Africa so we hope we are mature enough to draw on those experiences,” said Howard. “I think being in South Africa, knowing the people and training at the grounds there helps you. “We were there for three-and-a-half weeks so we now hope this time it’ll feel like we have been there before. That could help us and help keep the build up calm and relaxed.” The USA’s success at the Confederations Cup has improved their standing in the world game and they are tipped to progress from Group C with England. Howard expects England, Brazil and Spain to stand out in South Africa, where he is looking forward to testing himself against some of the world’s best strikers. “As a keeper you think about coming up against the top players at the tournament,” he said. “The likes of Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s bravado and flair and swagger have been fantastic for the game. “We played Argentina a few years back and Lionel Messi was untouchable so hopefully we don’t have to come up against them. “But if you want to get far in the tournament you have to expect to come up against those guys. “I think England will do really well. Of course I think Brazil will be great as they always are. Spain should do well too and they have many young players who are world class.”
Everton demand £10m for Yakubu after rejecting West Ham's £6m bid
Daily Mirror By David Anderson
June 11 2008
Everton have slapped a £10million pricetag on Yakubu after knocking back a £6million bid from West Ham.
The Hammers want to make Yakubu the first big signing of Avram Grant's new reign and have been pursuing the Nigerian striker since the end of the season.
However Everton boss David Moyes is in no rush to sell Yakubu and would want close to the £11.25million he paid Middlesbrough for him in 2007 if he did part with him. Yakubu is still very much part of his plans and the former Portsmouth striker has scored 24 league goals in 68 appearances in his three seasons with the Blues.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger plots swoop for Steven Pienaar after the World Cup
By Sportsmail Reporter
11th June 2010 Daily Mauil
Arsene Wenger will follow up his interest in Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar after the World Cup. Sportsmail revealed Arsenal's interest earlier this year and Wenger is waiting to see how the Cesc Fabregas saga unfolds before making his next step.
Wenger intends to keep Fabregas but knows Barcelona will push hard with a £40million offer. If his hand is forced the Arsenal manager will need Wenger, who has lined up free agent Joe Cole and also has an interest in Everton's Mikel Arteta, said: 'Pienaar has grown this year. He was usually a very busy player where the final ball was missing a little bit, but this year he has gained in personality and he has kept his work-rate, so he has been much more efficient. 'What also played a big role in his growth was that Mikel Arteta was not there for a while and that he had to take the responsibility of being the playmaker of the team. 'He was one of the best players in England this year. He would get into the Arsenal team. I always had an eye on him since he was at Ajax.' Pienaar is in contract dispute with Everton after failing to reach agreement on new terms. He has one season left and Everton would prefer to keep him prompting David Moyes's valuation of around £18m for the 28-year-old.
The South Africa international has also attracted interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea but admits he is flattered by Wenger's comments. 'It's always flattering that one of the best managers in the world says those kind of things about you.' said Pienaar. 'What I need to do is to work week in, week out to keep getting better. I am thankful to Wenger but my aim is still the same: keep improving. As simple as
Everton FC signing Joao Silva has been compared to Portugal’s best
June 12 2010 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
ANOTHER striker joins up this summer, and already there are optimistic rumblings that David Moyes has unearthed the latest in a long line of hidden gems. Joao Silva was unheard of until rumours of Everton’s interest first surfaced in the winter. But speak to Portuguese football journalists and they describe a talent who has been long-talked about as a future star. The 20-year-old joined Desportivo De Aves’ academy aged 10, and his rise has gone far from unnoticed, culminating with him receiving the highest praise a centre forward can receive in Portugal. They compare him to Pauleta.
Now, for a nation which has produced greats such as Eusebio and Cristiano Ronaldo, admittedly many would wonder what the big deal is about comparisons to a relatively low-profile striker who never actually played in Portugal’s top flight. Pauleta scored 48 goals in 88 matches for the national side, and 33 goals in a single season for Paris St Germain. So, high praise indeed for Silva. The veteran by all accounts was not an outstanding player in terms of overall ability, but in front of goal he was lethal. How Everton have cried out for a player like that. Let’s hope that Goodison Park really is about to witness the new Pauleta wreaking havoc on defences up and down the country.
Don’t expect derby fires to be tamed if Roy Hodgson gets Liverpool job
Jun 12 2010 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IF ROY Hodgson does become the new man in the Anfield hot seat, it will represent an interesting twist in derby day relations. Often so fraught in recent seasons, prepare for the possibility of a new friendly rivalry. The reason? David Moyes and Hodgson get along famously, and share the deepest respect for each other. The Scot was always insistent that the former Inter Milan boss deserved to be named manager of the season, not to mention genuinely pleased at how well he did with Fulham in the Europa League. I wonder if the new civility would rub off on the players when derby day dawned? File under unlikely.
Everton FC Alex Young Mosaic mystery solved by traitorous Hannah
Jun 12 2010 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
LET YOUR sleepless night cease. Call off the private investigators. Relax. The Mosaic Mystery has been solved. Before you ask, I haven’t been sniffing the strongest marker pens from the Echo’s stationery cupboard. I am, of course, talking about last week’s intriguing tale of the mysterious figure on the grand mosaic hanging outside the Alex Young suite in Goodison Park. To recap briefly. Back in 1986 workers renovating Anfield’s century-old Sandon pub, the original home of the Toffees, knocked through a wall and found the mosaic, which was presented to Everton’s then manager Howard Kendall. The common consensus was that the striking portrait captured legendary Toffees striker Alex ‘Sandy’ Young. In the Echo story about the discovery Young was named as the man, and so it became accepted as fact.
The facts were wrong though. The history books show that Young would not have played in the team which first wore salmon pink – Sandy wore royal blue when he signed in time for the 1901-02 season, years after the salmon kit was sported.
So after some research of our own, we speculated on a few individuals who might have been the mustachioed man. All wrong, it would seem. Because a wise Everton historian called Greg Murphy responded to our call to arms with panache. It would seem the puzzle has been emphatically solved – and features a potent twist.
I’ll let Greg explain, by reproducing the fascinating e-mail he sent to me this week;
‘That is Andrew Boyd Hannah. And despite how it appears, on the face of things, that mosaic is, really speaking (though it galls me to say it), legally a Liverpool FC treasure – not an Everton one. ‘For Hannah was a Steve McMahon figure in his day. The mosaic in question, I believe, was created as part of the 1891 Everton directors’ (including one John Houlding) celebrations of the 1890/91 title victory – which was won wearing the salmon and blue kit shown (as well as the mosaic, the directors also commissioned commemorative medals for the players – an idea which impressed the Football League and so began a fine tradition). Though there is some dispute as to who the Everton captain of 1890/91 was (some allege that it was Dan Doyle), I believe it was actually Hannah. ‘Indeed the official Everton FC historians assert that it was Hannah. Hence the mosaic: of the first title winning Everton captain. So far, so good. It was pride of place at the Club’s HQ at the Sandon Hotel, owned by John Houlding, the President of Everton FC and was probably unveiled in the spring or summer of 1891 (things started to get irreversibly acrimonious circa autumn 1891).
‘When the infamous “split” happened it was logical that Everton FC couldn’t take with them the fixtures and fittings at the Sandon – because that all belonged to Houlding. After the split, Houlding was still insistent, for several months, that the new team that would play at Anfield Road, with its HQ at the Sandon, would be called Everton. ‘Hence the mosaic of Hannah – who had since left Everton in very mysterious circumstances to return to his native Scotland – was still a logical part of the continuum of club history as far as Houlding was concerned. ‘He was convinced that the team at Goodison Park would have to accept a new name and the team at Anfield would still be “Everton” and hold the rightful claim to the moral and sporting honour of being 1890/91 champions. ‘It was not until June of 1892 that Houlding finally ceded the name Everton and opted for the new name Liverpool. Thus the split was now official in name as well as deed. But there was little need for Houlding to demonstrate his fury against all things Everton including the Hannah mosaic.
‘For Hannah had already been lured back to the city...to play for Liverpool, thanks chiefly to the persistence of his mentor and former EFC manager, W.E. Barclay, who had not only sided with Houlding in the split but was actually the leading proponent of adopting the “Liverpool” name over the “Everton” one and indeed kept hammering away at Houlding to make the change. Moreover, and newspaper accounts may bear this out: the capture of Hannah by Barclay may well have happened on the very same day that the name “Liverpool FC” was settled upon, thus making it the very first piece of LFC business under that name. Both things were certainly June 1892. ‘By the time Houlding’s new team played their first ever game, in September 1892, Hannah had been installed as the first captain of Liverpool FC and thus became a very political figure – and something of a poster boy given the mosaic of him in the Sandon – in the early “post split” years. ‘Hannah was a reviled figure at EFC. The first traitor. He was a lauded hero at LFC and I believe the pre-Kop chant of its day was “Hats off to Hannah”. Maybe the Evertonians had a less charitable ditty? ‘The mosaic at the Sandon was still prominent until at least the 1940s (but maybe even longer). The mosaic, really speaking, belonged to John Houlding’s estate. Whoever bought the Sandon fixtures and fittings from him would have owned it. The Everton directors of the time – even if they could have – wouldn’t have ever dreamed of making a claim for it. ‘And the Everton supporters of the day would have spat their toffees out had they known that a century later the Hannah mosaic would have been a prominent pride of place at Goodison Park. ‘The mosaic ended up back at EFC purely by accident and false assumption. And it’s a toss-up now as to whether it does deserve such distinction: for on the one hand it’s a depiction of Everton’s first title winning captain; but on the other hand it’s honouring a traitor – a pretty big one, at that. ‘Put it this way, imagine if Labone or Ratcliffe had defected to become LFC captain and consider how tolerant modern day Evertonians would be to images of them being given pride of place at Goodison? Anyway, that’s my version of the mosaic mystery. Unless, of course, other Blues know better.’
Everton FC defender Joseph Yobo glad to be back on World Cup stage
Jun 12 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO will draw on his contrasting World Cup fortunes when Nigeria's 2010 campaign gets under way today. The Super Eagles face Argentina at Ellis Park (3pm kick-off) in what, on paper, should be their toughest game in Group B that also includes Greece and South Korea. It will be Yobo's first World Cup game for eight years, mirroring his tournament debut in Japan 2002 when Nigeria again faced Argentina in their opening match, losing 1-0 to a late Gabriel Batistuta goal.
A 2-1 defeat to Sweden ahead of a goalless draw with England saw Nigeria finish bottom. Yobo played in all three games and, despite being sent home early, enjoyed every minute. “It was great for me,” says Yobo. “I was a young boy – just 20 years old. “Playing on such a big stage at the World Cup was massive. Also playing with the big players and against some of big teams like Argentina, Sweden and England. You face a lot of players whose names you’ve heard. “The World Cup is a phenomenal stage to play on. It was a big experience for me.” Nigeria's failure to qualify for Germany 2006 means it has been a long wait for Yobo. Now the Everton defender is keen to make up for lost time. “We would like to make up for it this time around,” said Yobo. “We went through a bad patch but we bless god that everyone was supporting us. “In qualifying, we started a bit slow but finished strongly qualifying on the last day again. “It was the same as 2002, we qualified on the last day, whereas in 2006 we missed out. “Those three group games from 2002 that I played in are quite memorable. But the memories of missing out four years later keep coming back too. “We’re just so grateful now to have the opportunity to play to play at another World Cup. “To go through on the final day of 2010 was another big experience and I am now looking forward to another World Cup.” Stephen Pienaar played for the full 90 minutes of South Africa's opening game against Mexico as the World Cup got under way in Johannesburg yesterday. The hosts took the lead on 55 minutes through Siphiwe Tshabalala before Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez equalised with 10 minutes remaining.
Everton slap £10million price tag on strike star
June 11 2010
Everton have put a £10million price tag on Yakubu after rejecting a £6m West Ham bid. The Hammers targeted the striker as the first major signing of Avram Grant’s reign, but Goodison Park boss David Moyes would want close to the £11.25m Everton paid Middlesbrough in 2007 to consider letting him go.
ARSENAL BOSS ARSENE WENGER KEEN ON EVERTON STAR STEVEN PIENAAR
11th June 2010
By Jeremy Cross
ARSENE WENGER has dropped the strongest hint yet that he might be preparing a summer swoop for Everton winger Steven Pienaar. Pienaar is in South Africa preparing for the host nation’s World Cup campaign, which starts this afternoon against Mexico The midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract at Goodison Park and has failed to agree a new deal. The Arsenal boss said Pienaar was one of the best players in the top flight last season and would get into his side at the Emirates. David Moyes may decide to cash in on Pienaar, who is also interesting Manchester City and Tottenham. Wenger said: “He (Pienaar) has grown this year. “He would get into the Arsenal team, yes.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants Everton's Phil Jagielka to steer his defence next season
June 11 2010
Arsenal have made an inquiry for Everton's Phil Jagielka as they intensify their search for a centre half. Manager Arsene Wenger has been impressed by the England international who came back strongly last season from a cruciate ligament injury but Everton do not want to sell. He joined from Sheffield United for £4m in 2007 and has been a pivotal figure in Everton's improvement since. Wenger, who is also keen on Everton's Steven Pienaar, needs two defenders. He will lose William Gallas and sees Sol Campbell as a squad player. The Frenchman made an improved offer for Lorient's Laurent Koscielny last Sunday but is still waiting to hear if the £8.2m bid was successful. Wenger is also interested in Fenerbahce's Andre Santos and Pape Diakhate of Dynamo Moscow.
Everton may move for cut-price £20m-rated Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo
By Simon Jones Last updated at 10:29 PM on 13th June 2010
Everton have been alerted after Benfica admitted striker Oscar Cardozo can leave.
The Paraguay centre forward is rated at around £20m but Benfica may relent on the price after growing disgruntled with the 27-year-old in a row over his fitness.Everton, who are also keen on Craig Bellamy, will have to sell at least one player first with West Ham continuing to show interest in Yakubu.
Martin Petrov not on Everton FC manager David Moyes’ shopping list as Tim Howard faces anxious injury wait
Jun 14 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are not in the race to sign out-of-contract winger Martin Petrov despite David Moyes aiming to recruit an experienced midfielder this summer. The 31-year-old has been released by Manchester City after his contract with the Eastlands club expired last month. But despite reports that the Toffees were hoping to persuade Petrov to join them, the ECHO understands that the Bulgarian is not on Moyes’ wish-list. Petrov, who was with City for three years after leaving Atletico Madrid, is reportedly settled in the North West, but his injury record, age and wage demands rule him out of a switch to Goodison. Moyes will look for a seasoned veteran to boost his midfield options during the summer transfer window, but sources at the club believe Petrov does not quite fit the criteria. Everton are also unworried by continuing speculation linking Arsenal with a bid for Phil Jagielka. Various reports have suggested Arsene Wenger will try and boost his defence by signing the England defender, but Everton have already declared the 27-year-old not for sale. Jagielka is contracted on Merseyside until 2014 after signing a five year extension deal last year, and is happy at the club. Meanwhile, Tim Howard admitted he could be seriously injured after a collision with Emile Heskey in Saturday’s England World Cup opener.
The Everton goalkeeper played on despite needing a pain killing cortisone injection at half time, and was eventually voted man of the match in the 1-1 Group C clash.
But the 31-year-old is yet to discover whether he has suffered cracked ribs, and could be unable to play in the USA’s next game with Slovenia on Friday. He said: “We’ll see what the doctors say. They might want me to get an MRI. “They don’t think it is [broken], but we’ll see.” John Heitinga is also preparing with confidence to play his part in the tournament. The Netherlands will face Denmark first in Group E followed by Japan and Cameroon. The Dutch were the first side to qualify for the tournament in South Africa by winning every game and conceding just two goals along the way – but the Everton man doesn’t believe that it has raised expectations too much.
“I don’t think there is too much pressure on us after our results and we can play with confidence,” he said. “Everybody is proud of that and it is just the beginning. “A lot of smaller countries are playing better than ever so it gets harder for the bigger countries to go through.”
Everton FC keeper Tim Howard reveals his relief at not breaking his ribs in England v USA clash
Jun 14 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON goalkeeper Tim Howard breathed a sigh of relief last night when it was revealed he hadn’t broken ribs during the USA’s draw with England on Saturday.
Howard needed pain-killing injections to get him through the Group C opener in Rustenburg and claim the man-of-the-match prize. But afterwards the Everton keeper revealed the full extent of the injury he suffered in a nasty-looking first-half collision with Emile Heskey as the pair went to cut out Glen Johnson’s low cross. “Emile caught me right in the ribs,” said Howard. “I honestly didn’t know whether it was broken or not. “I was just trying to breathe and that was tough enough. I was going to give myself five or 10 minutes because I knew once the adrenalin kicked back in I was going to be all right until half-time. “But it was really sore and it did cross my mind I might have to be substituted. “Thankfully I managed to make it through and eventually had a pain-killing injection and some medicine.” It meant Howard was not in a position to offer a detailed analysis of Robert Green’s howler. Since moving to Everton, initially on loan, in 2006, Howard has proved himself to be one of the Premier League’s most competent keepers. And having observed Green at close quarters, he has nothing but sympathy for the man now being blamed for England’s failure to open their Group C campaign with a win. “There is a bond between the keepers,” he said. “You understand the criticism that is heaped upon keepers. “I feel for Green. Even when we equalised, I had mixed emotions at that very moment because you know what happened in the moment is not nice. “He is a fantastic goalkeeper. I have known him from playing against him for a number of years and he will bounce back. “You need to be strong and have broad shoulders – and Robert does.” It was hard to escape the comparison between the two goalkeepers though, especially as, despite his discomfort, Howard denied Emile Heskey after the England forward had been put clean through by Aaron Lennon. Given Heskey has only scored seven times in an international career which is now approaching 60 games, it was probably not a surprise. But, unlike Green for the goal, Howard’s technique was up to the task. “You have to be bold and stand strong,” he said. “I knew he had the opportunity to pick any corner he wanted but the longer you stand up the better.
“I read what he was going to do and in the end he probably caught it too clean and just hit it at me. “We will have to see how the group shapes out,” said Howard, whose team will be squaring up against Slovenia at Ellis Park in their next match. “It is certainly possible for us to win it but I still feel England are favourites to top the group and go through. “The point is we have shown we will fight and scratch to try and make it possible for us to go through as well.”
World Cup 2010:Tim Howard tells how he played through the pain after Heskey challenge
Jun 14 2010 Greg O'Keefe
TIM HOWARD admitted he didn’t know whether he could play on after his painful collision with Emile Heskey during the United States’ 1-1 draw with England on Saturday. The Everton goalkeeper, who will undergo further tests today to check whether he has broken ribs from the challenge, needed extensive treatment to continue and it wasn’t until he reached the safety of the dressing room at half-time that he knew for certain he would reach the final whistle. He said: “Emile caught me right in the ribs. It felt like agony. I knew Heskey was going to slide in, and he had every right to that ball, the same as I did. You just leave yourself exposed when you’re at full stretch and he came in and caught me just under my chest and my ribs. Initially I was in a lot of pain and I honestly didn’t know whether it was broken or not. “I was just trying to breathe and that was tough enough. I was going to give myself five or ten minutes because I knew once the adrenalin kicked back in I was going to be all right until half-time. “But it was really sore and it did cross my mind I might have to be substituted.
“Thankfully I managed to make it through and eventually had a pain-killing injection and some medicine.” “I’ll be even more sore the next couple days, but maybe it’ll get me out of training.” Howard believes the opening draw with England was a better result than his nation’s famous win over the Three Lions 60 years ago, against a side captained by Billy Wright, which has gone down in history as one of the World Cup’s biggest shocks. Yet it was very much an isolated occasion, with US soccer subsequently falling back into total obscurity from which, on an international level, the USA were not to emerge for another 40 years. This weekend’s draw was another matter entirely.It leaves the USA well placed to reach the last 16, having beaten tournament favourites Spain in the Confederations Cup 12 months ago before streaking into a two-goal lead against Brazil in the final, only to eventually get overhauled. “It is a better result than 1950,” said the 31-year-old. “We are better positioned tonight than we were in then. We expected to put a performance in but we weren’t particularly sharp early on, as you saw. “We weren’t tight, especially on the goal. I don’t know at the start if it was nerves or what have you, but we responded. We knew we could respond well and once we calmed down and got into the flow of the game I thought we did well. “Defensively we did our job, it was backs to the wall and overall it wasn’t pretty. They were always going to have their fair share of possession, but we defended, made some saves. Guys were diving in and we were just trying to stay organized, but I’m happy overall.” Meanwhile, Howard has nothing but sympathy for the man now being blamed for England’s failure to open their Group C campaign with a win, Robert Green. “There is a bond between the keepers,” he said. “You understand the criticism that is heaped upon them. “Even when we equalised, I had mixed emotions because you know what happened is not nice. “He is a fantastic goalkeeper. I have known him from playing against him for a number of years and he will bounce back. “You need to be strong and broad shoulders and Robert does.”
Both teams showed nerves as hosts South Africa drew their opening game of the World Cup with Mexico
Jun 14 2010 by Nick Moreton, Liverpool Daily Post (Steven Pienaar played for South Africa)
SOUTH Africa midfielder Teko Modise admitted his side suffered from early nerves on Friday but was satisfied overall with the 1-1 draw against Mexico in the 2010 World Cup opener. The clash in Johannesburg saw the hosts struggle initially, before they managed to come away with a point. Modise said: “We didn’t start well. Many of us don’t know what it’s like to play in a World Cup. “Now we know what it’s all about, so I believe against Uruguay we will start much better and be a lot more relaxed.” The Orlando Pirates star was guilty of a crucial miss shortly after Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opener that could have killed off the game. In the end it was not to be as a Rafael Marquez effort 11 minutes from time helped the Mexicans snatch a draw.
Modise added: “I needed to take that chance to help me personally. “ But right now it’s all about the team and I think against Mexico I worked hard for the team and I’m proud of that. “We had some chances late in the match as our confidence grew so as long as we keep creating chances then we’ll have a chance of winning.” Mexico defender Hector Moreno compared the atmosphere inside Soccer City to that of the Estadio Azteca, saying it definitely played a role in the result. “I think so (they were nervous),” he said. “But it’s something that applies to both teams. “It’s normal to be nervous in such a game because everybody is watching you and everybody is expecting a lot of you. “The atmosphere was just like Azteca, but only the colour was yellow, not green,” he added. “I think they (South Africa) did a good job in those circumstances.”
Maradona warns rivals, Argentina fears no-one
Jun 14 2010 by Nick Moreton, Liverpool Daily Post (Yobo and Yakubu played for Nigeria)
DIEGO MARADONA has warned that his Argentina side will not fear any opponent at the World Cup in South Africa after they began their quest for a third global title with a victory. The South Americans were 1-0 winners over Nigeria at Ellis Park on Saturday and the success could have been by a greater margin but for some superb saves from Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who lived up to his nickname of ‘The Cat’ and was hailed as a “phenomenon” by Lionel Messi. The Barcelona star was denied time and time again by Enyeama, and while the lead remained just 1-0 there was always the prospect that the Africans could find a way back into the game, and they threatened more as the match wore on. Maradona is six wins away from equalling the achievement of Franz Beckenbauer in winning the World Cup as a player and coach, but the comparison to the German at this early stage of the competition seemed to amuse and bewilder him. “Well I’m not similar at all, I don’t look like Beckenbauer and I never will,” he said. “To say that I could equal him I would have to make a prediction. “I would have to have a crystal ball and be a magician, and I’m not a magician, I’m just a coach. “We have to improve a lot of things to play that seventh match. “However, I thought our men did a great job.”
On the subject of having failed to convert so many openings Maradona said: “We have been testing and practising many types of play, all my target men have been practising and in this game we weren’t that lucky, we weren’t able to show on the scoreboard what we were doing out on the pitch. “Undoubtedly when you play in a World Cup, winning the first game keeps us cool and calm for the next match.”
Asked if he feared such missed chances could cost more dearly against stronger opposition, Maradona added: “Fear doesn’t exist in football, whoever is afraid should stay at home, you should never feel afraid in football.” Nigeria goalkeeper Enyeama drew the courage and coolness required for his man-of-the-match display from his religious beliefs. The Hapoel Tel Aviv stopper said: “I want to thank God, I don’t know how I got to some of the shots but it was by the grace of God, he made a difference today.” Some good old-fashioned homework on Messi’s favoured striking techniques helped too, though. “I saw his games and I think I got a good bit of information on him,” Enyeama added. Messi, who gave one of his best displays to date in an Argentina shirt, said: “The goalkeeper was a phenomenon. “The important thing is we created chances. “We are playing well and the result was perfect for us. We are happy.” His team-mate Jonas Gutierrez said: “It was a very good game, a very hard game. “We didn’t score the second goal which made it harder for us but I think the national team of Argentina did a good job. “It was a little worrying that we couldn’t score a second but Nigeria made it a little difficult for us. More importantly I feel that we played well. “We have gained confidence from these three points, now we are focusing on the second game. “Nigeria have a very good team with very good players so it wasn’t a surprise to see how strong they were.” A win over South Korea on Thursday would put Maradona’s men in a strong position to win the group, while Nigeria must look for maximum points against Greece later that day to keep their hopes of progress alive.
Everton’s Tim Cahill sees red as Germany stroll to comfortable win over Australia
Jun 14 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Daily Post (Tim Cahill played for Australia)20/6/10
GERMANY strolled to a 4-0 victory over Australia in their World Cup opener as Everton’s Tim Cahill was a bit harshly sent off. Winning coach Joachim Low believes his team can get even better. Goals from Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller and Cacau gave the Germans a great start to their campaign, while the Socceroos were left to rue not only the result but key man Cahill’s red card. “There is still room for improvement,” said Low. “Our defence was excellent, they performed very well and I was very happy with our counter-attacks. “But in terms of closing the space between defence and midfield, I felt sometimes we were too defensive. “We will work on this.” Low nevertheless praised his young side, who dominated the match from start to finish. “It’s always great to see that my team can implement my tactics on the pitch,” he said. “From beginning to end, Australia was rather defensive and we had to change our attacks. “I thought we did very well and we scored very nice goals. “We tried to go deep down with Klose and Muller while we also kept the ball low and that created problems for Australia’s defence.” Low was relieved with the win that sees his side go top of Group D. “The first match always comes with a lot of pressure,” he said. “It’s always important to win to get self-confidence. “We can be very satisfied, happy and confident. “But we have to keep our concentration.
“We want to reach the last 16 stage at least.” Low was impressed by Brazil-born striker Cacau, who got an easy tap-in less than two minutes after coming on as a substitute. “I think I have a range of possibilities in every position,” said Low. “Cacau had a great training camp with us and I knew I had a great player coming off the bench.” Australia coach Pim Verbeek questioned his team’s attitude after their humiliating defeat. “We were outplayed,” he said. “We are disappointed with the result. “The way we handed the game was definitely not good. “We were disorganised and we didn’t play the way we need to in order to challenge Germany. Germany are one of the candidates to win the World Cup,” he said. “They show they have a better team, they are much stronger than in the past. “In the second half, I thought we did much better but when you have a player sent off then it becomes very difficult.” Verbeek refused to criticise referee Marco Rodriguez for Cahill’s dismissal.
Cahill was shown a straight red in the 56th minute after a foul on Podolski. “I don’t talk about referees,” he said. “I didn’t see the replay but I have seen a lot of yellow cards today and I didn’t think it was a harsh game.”
England’s mix of glory and howlers against the USA
Jun 14 2010 by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post (Tim Howard plays for America and also wins man of the match award)
ROBERT GREEN added his name to an unhappy list of calamity goalkeepers as he cost England victory over the United States. Steven Gerrard had given the Three Lions’ World Cup campaign a flying start with a fourth-minute opener in Rustenburg.
England were still holding that advantage despite a less-than-convincing performance, until Green committed the kind of howler David Seaman, Paul Robinson and Scott Carson have all done down the years and allowed Clint Dempsey’s harmless shot to slip through his fingers. Fabio Capello could only watch on in horror and wonder why fate had dealt him such a shocking hand given he had preferred Green to David James and Joe Hart as his first-choice goalkeeper, dismissing the latter man for fear his inexperience would cost England in a similar manner to that the West Ham man actually did. There was to be no atonement, even though England dominated at the end. And with one of his favourite sons, James Milner, hauled off after half an hour, Ledley King failing to return for the second half and his replacement Jamie Carragher getting himself badly exposed on more than one occasion, it will be an uncomfortable six days for Capello and his players before England try to rebuild their reputation against Algeria in Cape Town next Friday. Capello’s first World Cup as a manager could not have got off to a better start either. Having resolved to start with Green in the problematic goalkeeping position and Milner on the left-hand side of midfield, Capello sat back and waited. Within three minutes he was wearing the broadest of smiles. Glen Johnson and Frank Lampard were both involved in the initial stages of a move that ended with Emile Heskey doing what he does best, allowing a team-mate to score. Usually it is with brawn. This time it was the silky touch of a delicate through ball for Gerrard, who had motored into the box. The new England skipper steadied himself, then tucked a precise finish under Tim Howard and raced away to the far corner flag pursued by a posse of ecstatic white shirts. Rather than a majority of United States supporters, as had been suggested, the stadium was clearly packed with England fans, who celebrated with natural glee. Unfortunately, it was not long before the smiles turned to worried frowns. England still kept creating chances. Lampard and Wayne Rooney tested Howard with a couple of speculative efforts, Steve Cherundolo turned away a teasing low cross from Aaron Lennon and Heskey almost got on the end of a Lennon ball into the six-yard area. But for all this, the United States were causing England a major headache. They may have won the previous meeting so famously in 1950 but the stars and stripes boast a far more professional outfit these days and they quickly began to show how they reached the Confederations Cup final 12 months ago. As so often, Landon Donovan was the architect of their best work, exposing Milner at the same time. Ill during the week, the Aston Villa man, one of Capello’s favourites, was badly exposed and had already been booked for a foul on Cherundolo before he was replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips. The move was Capello’s ruthless response to a growing number of threatening American attacks, the best of which provided an open goal for Jozy Altidore when he jumped for Donovan’s free-kick, yet inexplicably missed the ball completely. Another long-range Donovan effort had Green at full stretch before the moment that will be repeated so often and the West Ham goalkeeper has to live with for the rest of his life arrived. Dempsey turned Gerrard neatly but was still 25 yards when he took aim. The new Jabulani ball made the effort worthwhile. There is no way it should have ended up in the net though. Green could only bury his head in the ground as he came to terms with a fumbled attempt to save that ended with the ball slipping through his grasp and agonisingly out of reach as it bobbled over the line. When England returned from an interval that must have included attempting to raise Green’s spirits, King had been replaced by Carragher. But any thought the Liverpool veteran would shore things up at the back was quickly dispelled as first he was booked for a foul on Robbie Findlay, then he was left for dead by Altidore, which at least allowed Green to redeem himself with a fine save as he pushed the American’s shot on to the post. Prior to that, Heskey had failed to beat Howard having been sent through by Lennon. Heskey also wasted the last of three decent England chances; Lampard and Rooney did much better from much further out with the others as the Three Lions asserted themselves at the end without managing to fashion a winner.
Villa ready to battle Spurs for £12million midfielder
June 14 2010
Martin O'Neill is ready to take on Spurs in a £12million battle for Everton winger Steven Pienaar. O’Neill wants to capitalise on South Africa international Pienaar’s contract wrangle and bring him to Villa Park. Pienaar has only one year remaining on his deal at Goodison Park and talks have stalled over an extension. Villa boss O’Neill is set to test David Moyes’ resolve with an offer for the 28-year-old this summer.
Moyes is desperate to avoid Everton becoming renowned as a selling club and could ask for £15m. But O’Neill sees Pienaar as a key signing as he bids to rebuild a Villa side resigned to losing James Milner to Manchester City. Spurs are also in the race and can offer Champions League football but O’Neill is determined to land a major signing before next season.
Celtic want Everton ace on loan
June 15 2010
Everton's James Vaughan is wanted on a season-long loan by new Celtic boss Neil Lennon and is considering the move Championship rivals Leicester and Derby are also interested in signing the 21-year-old in a £1million deal.
Travel sickness was never a factor in England World Cup omission, insists disappointed Everton FC star Leighton Baines
Jun 15 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
LEIGHTON BAINES has revealed his disappointment at being axed from England’s World Cup squad. The Everton left-back failed to make coach Fabio Capello’s final 23 man squad for the finals in South Africa having been part of the initial 30. Baines was selected for England’s first warm-up match against Mexico at Wembley on May 24 and though helping his country to a 3-1 win, admits he did not perform as well as he would have liked. Twenty-five-year-old Baines did not feature in anymore of the national side’s matches in preparations for the finals but admits Capello’s call to say he would not be on the plane headed for Rustenburg, still came as a shock.
Baines said: “I must admit it was a massive disappointment and something of a surprise even though, like most of the lads in the squad, I knew full well that I wasn’t guaranteed a place. “But we all knew that 30 would become 23 and the seven of us who got the bad news just had to accept the manager’s decision. “I’d love to be over in South Africa right now trying to help England bring the World Cup home but it’s not to be for me this time so all I can do is concentrate on the new Premier League season with Everton. There is so much optimism about the place following our terrific ending to last season and there is a real feeling that we can achieve something this season.” Suggestions from sections of the media were that Capello had concerns over Baines’ state of mind given alleged comments to the press about suffering from homesickness. But the Everton players’ player of the season has dismissed any notion of worries about spending time away from his family could have given the Italian any anxieties. Baines insists he was affected by time away from home no more than any other member of the squad and says the team spirit was helping him cope. Though still upset not to be in South Africa, Baines was refusing to dwell too heavily on the rejection and reveals help from family, friends and Everton manager David Moyes is now getting him geared up for the Goodison Park outfit’s pre-season tour of Australia in July.
“I was feeling low because I knew I hadn’t played my best against Mexico and I spoke to a reporter I know about how the game had gone”, Baines added.
“At the end of the conversation I was asked if I was missing the family while we were away and I said I was but that it’s all part and parcel of being a footballer.
“I also stressed that the team spirit with England was brilliant and that all the lads helped each other. I’m not embarrassed to admit that being away from the family is difficult at times but I’m not the only player who feels that. It’s natural when you’ve got a young family and you’re away from home for long spells so I was shocked when I read some of the reports that later surfaced. “In fact, when I got a call a few days later asking me if I was alright, I didn’t know what the person was on about. I’d never mentioned the word ‘homesick’ once. I felt that my comments had been misconstrued and I came across as a bit of a moaner, which is not like me at all. “I was as desperate to make the plane as every other member of the squad and my family was 100% behind me, so I was bitterly disappointed when Mr Capello told me I wouldn’t be going. “It was a football reason though and had nothing to do with anything written in the newspapers. I respected his decision and wished him and the lads all the best for the tournament. “I spoke to the gaffer after being left-out and he was great. He told me to go away on holiday and come back ready for next season. He said that at least I was one less player for him to worry about, injury-wise. “And contrary to what people might think, I am looking forward to touring Australia with the team. I’ve never been before and it will be a great experience. It’s a very important part of our build-up and I’m sure we are in for three tough games.”
Everton FC's Steven Pienaar admits to feeling World Cup burnout but vows to fight on
Jun 15 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
STEVEN PIENAAR has admitted to feeling World Cup burnout – giving Everton manager David Moyes early pre-season concern. The South African midfielder has revealed the rigours of a gruelling Premier League campaign with the Goodison outfit have left him jaded as his national side bid to progress in their home tournament.
Twenty-eight-year-old Pienaar was substituted in the second half of Bafana Bafana’s 1-1 draw with Mexico in the opening game of the tournament on Friday and ahead of their second Group A fixture with Uruguay in Pretoria tomorrow night, says his “legs are tired”. Moyes will have been watching anxiously over his stars in South Africa, hoping they return injury-free and as fresh as possible for Everton’s July pre-season tour of Australia, so Pienaar’s admission will be a worry as he plots a good start to the 2010/11 term. Pienaar said: “I played a lot of games in the last months and my legs are tired. “But as long as my mind and my heart are willing, I’ll keep pushing myself as hard as I can go. “It’s a league of high intensity and when you are coming off a tough season, its normal that sometimes the body gives in. “But for a tournament like the World Cup, you want to give your best and you can’t let your body hold you back. You just have to push on.” Meanwhile, distraught Tim Cahill will today learn if his World Cup dream is in tatters. The Australian captain was sent off in his country’s opening Group D match with Germany on Sunday night and now faces up to sitting out the rest of the first round. Cahill’s dismissal, for a foul on German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 56th minute, added insult to injury for the Socceroos who were emphatically beaten 4-0 by the former winners. Many, including Bayern Munich’s Schweinsteiger, felt Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez’s decision to brandish the red card was a harsh call. Australia and Cahill must now nervously wait for the FIFA disciplinary committee’s decision on whether the Everton star’s foul is ruled as ‘unduly reckless play’ and therefore upgrade his one game ban to two matches. Such a decision would significantly increase the chance of 30-year-old Cahill’s tournament being over given Australia’s prospects of qualifying to the second round look slim after their disappointing showing in Durban. Cahill was particularly upset after the match, breaking down when addressing the media and now hopes the governing body rule favourably so he is available to face Serbia on June, 23 in Australia’s final group match. Cahill said: “It just proves how dreams can be crushed in seconds. I never went out to hurt him and was genuinely going for the ball. I kept my knee bent to make sure that’s what happened. “I felt the incident turned the game because although we were two goals down at the time we had a bit of momentum behind us and were making them work hard and we’d begun to ask a few questions of them “It shows how in football you can be a hero one moment and hit the bottom the next. “You can all see how upset I am. “I’m sorry to be like this. I don’t usually cry but I’m just hurt. To have my World Cup shattered in that way is one of the worst things I have ever experienced. I have been through a lot of different things in football but nothing this painful and I have to admit it’s hit me really hard. “I don’t have a clue what will happen now but what I can say for certain is that it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with as a footballer. Nothing comes close to this. It was my dream to play in my second World Cup and it was something so special for me to represent my country. To have it snatched away from me so quickly is a feeling I never want to experience again. “Hopefully the people at Fifa will understand there was no malice about ithe said. “You know as a player when you have done a bad challenge and you hold your hands up. But it’s been nice that all my team-mates have come out on my behalf and said it wasn’t a red card. I’ll leave it for everyone else to make up their minds. “I was in a state of shock when I saw the red card but what you have to do in those situations is remain respectful to the referee and that’s what I tried to do. I asked him about it after the game but he refused to answer. I asked the fourth official and he said he hadn’t seen it. “This was my World Cup dream and it feels like someone has taken it away from me with one decision, “I trained so hard for this tournament. I played 50-odd games for Everton and kept myself in top shape and now I might not be part of the World Cup any more. I can’t find the words to describe how low I feel.”
Kuyt strike ensures perfect start for Dutch
Jun 15 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Daily Post
Johnny Heitiger plays for Holland
BERT VAN MARWIJK stressed the importance of winning the opening match after Holland began their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Denmark at Soccer City. A second half own goal by Daniel Agger and a late Dirk Kuyt effort were enough for the highly-fancied Dutch, but it was not all plain sailing in Johannesburg.
They struggled to create openings in the first period, before the goal came from an unlikely source to break the Danish resistance. They eventually held on for a good start to Group E, which also includes Japan and Cameroon, and for their coach it was just reward after years of planning. “I’ve been thinking about this first game for a long, long time,” he said. “I’ve always said that this was the most important match because a good beginning to a world championship is so important. “It’s always a tough match. Today, as you could see, there was a bit of tension with the players. It was difficult, but we won, which is the most important thing.” Van Marwijk, whose side always flatter to deceive at major global events, struggled through the first 45 minutes and looked short of ideas without the injured Arjen Robben. But they looked a changed team after the break. The coach said: “Beforehand, I think we were the favourites, so you know you’re going to face a very defensive opponent. “That means that in your build-up, you cannot afford to make many mistakes. But we played well, we didn’t give away too many opportunities and all the players should be complimented for that. “I think we made a reasonably good impression and that we never panicked, not for one moment. “In the end, we are really pleased with this win.”
Opposite number Morten Olsen paid tribute to the Dutch, but admitted that things could have been different had they not conceded a goal so early on in the second half.
He said: “It was a deserved victory, I think. The Dutch team is perhaps not the favourite, but certainly an outsider to win the World Cup. “It could have been different if we didn’t have the thing that happened a few seconds into the second half, but that’s the kind of thing that decides football matches – the first goal and we know that. “Obviously now the Dutch were in the position they really liked. They would have enjoyed the second half much more, that’s for sure.” But he paid tribute to his team, saying: “What I would like to say about my own team is that they put in a good effort. “We were well positioned in the pitch during the first half, not so much in the second half.” Olsen also shed light on his decision to field Nicklas Bendtner, less than 24 hours after insisting the Arsenal striker “cannot play” due to injury.
He added: “We had to take some chances in this match and I was not bluffing when I said Nicklas Bendtner was not going to play. “He wasn’t going to play. Then yesterday we had new injuries from Jon Dahl Tomasson and Daniel Jensen. We didn’t have the same number of offensive players, so we had to take the risk.”
I'm sick at missing the World Cup in South Africa - Everton FC's Leighton Baines
Jun 15 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON BAINES has described his bitter disappointment after missing out on the World Cup and denied that homesickness was to blame. The Blues defender was one of seven players discarded by Fabio Capello when the England manager had to cut his squad from 30 to 23, and it was his omission which raised the most eyebrows.
Baines had featured heavily in the run-up to the tournament, prompting some pundits to claim comments about missing home, attributed to Baines, had persuaded Capello to change his mind and select Stephen Warnock instead. A below par performance against Mexico in the final warm-up game could not have been timed worse, but the 25-year-old left-back insists he was desperate to stay in South Africa and is trying to be philosophical after the set-back. He said: “I must admit it was a massive disappointment and something of a surprise even though, like most of the lads in the squad, I knew full well that I wasn’t guaranteed a place. “But we all knew that 30 would become 23 and the seven of us who got the bad news just had to accept the manager’s decision. I was feeling low because I knew I hadn’t played my best against Mexico and I spoke to a reporter I know about how the game had gone.
“At the end of the conversation I was asked if I was missing the family while we were away, and I said I was but that it’s all part and parcel of being a footballer.
“I also stressed that the team spirit with England was brilliant and that all the lads helped each other. I’m not embarrassed to admit that being away from the family is difficult at times but I’m not the only player who feels that. It’s natural when you’ve got a young family and you’re away from home for long spells so I was shocked when I read some of the reports that later surfaced. “In fact, when I got a call a few days later asking me if I was alright, I didn’t know what the person was on about. I’d never mentioned the word ‘homesick’ once. I felt that my comments had been misconstrued and I came across as a bit of a moaner, which is not like me at all. “I was as desperate to make the plane as every other member of the squad and my family was 100% behind me, so I was bitterly disappointed when Mr Capello told me that I wouldn’t be going. “It was a football reason though and had nothing to do with anything written in the newspapers. I respected his decision and wished him and the lads all the best for the tournament.” Everton’s Players’ Player of the Year is now concentrating on being rested when the Blues squad returns for training next month. And he has received words of support from David Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright. He said: “I’d love to be over in South Africa right now trying to help England bring the World Cup home but it’s not to be for me this time so all I can do is concentrate on the season with Everton. “There is so much optimism about the place following our terrific ending to last season and there is a feeling we can do something this season.
“I spoke to the gaffer (David Moyes) after being left-out and he was great. He told me to go away on holiday and come back ready for next season. He said that at least I was one less player for him to worry about, injury-wise! “And contrary to what people might think, I am looking forward to touring Australia with the team. I’ve never been before and it will be a great experience. It’s a very important part of our build-up and I am sure we are in for three tough games. “And before you ask... yes I will miss the family while I’m away.”
Forlan at the double for Uruguay
Jun 16 2010
Steven Piennar played for South Africa
Host nation South Africa were left facing the prospect of an early World Cup exit after slumping to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a Diego Forlan-inspired Uruguay in Pretoria. Forlan scored Uruguay's opening two goals, the first a deflected 25-yard effort and the second from the penalty spot late on after an incident which saw home goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune sent off. Alvaro Pereira than wrapped up a deserved victory for dominant Uruguay in stoppage time as the South Americans moved to within touching distance of a place in the last 16. For South Africa the defeat means they have just the one point from their two matches and are now in some trouble.
South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira had singled out Forlan as a player his side needed to keep a close eye on, and it was the Atletico Madrid striker who did the damage. Never afraid to shoot when within sight of goal, Forlan let fly from 25 yards and saw his effort loop over Khune with the aid of a slight but crucial deflection off Aaron Mokoena. That lead was no more than Uruguay deserved, and they almost doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute when Luis Suarez's rising shot hit the side-netting. The half-time break probably could not have come quick enough for South Africa, but it was Uruguay who continued to boss the game at the start of the second period. Edinson Cavani put a reasonable chance wide early on before the unmarked Uruguay captain Diego Lugano made a mess of trying to turn a Forlan free-kick goalwards. Then, from nowhere, South Africa almost snatched an equaliser in the 66th minute when Katlego Mphela got in front of Uruguay goalkeeper Nestor Muslera to get on the end of Siboniso Gaxa's cross. However, the big number nine could not direct his glancing header on target. South Africa's hopes of getting anything out of the game were crushed in the 76th minute when they conceded a penalty and lost goalkeeper Khune to a red card. Forlan's mis-hit shot found its way through to the wide-open Suarez inside the area and, as he looked to round Khune, his foot was clipped by the South African and the Ajax forward went tumbling. Khune protested his innocence but there was no swaying referee Massimo Busacca, who pointed to the spot and gave the goalkeeper his marching orders. After a lengthy delay, Forlan ensured the maximum punishment from the spot to spark an early exodus for many disappointed home fans. Those who left early missed Uruguay's final goal in stoppage time, when Pereira bundled home Suarez's cross from virtually on the line.
Everton FC fans’ forum
Jun 16 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
REGARDING all the speculation concerning the future of Steven Pienaar at Everton and the interest reported to be shown by Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is adding smoke to the fire with his comments about our South African midfielder. If Wenger was so interested in Pienaar when he played at Ajax, why didn’t he make a move for him then? Wenger is touting for a replacement for Cesc Fabregas and hopes to get Pienaar for the lowest price possible. I hope David Moyes holds out and if Pienaar won’t sign a new contract then put him in the reserves until his contract runs out. We don’t need another disaster like last year when Joleon Lescott decided that he was worth more money; Lescott will be on the bench for City next season as he’s not good enough without Phil Jagielka to carry him.
I HONESTLY think we could do big business with a sale of around £15m-20m for Steven Pienaar. Everton can do a lot more with the money than what we can do with the player!
I WOULD do all I could to bring Landon Donovan back to Everton.
Not many players fit in that quick and Donovan gave the whole blue side of the city a real lift. So break the bank Mr Moyes, and bring Landon home. hulk
I COULD not believe my eyes when I saw the red card waved at Tim Cahill in Sunday’s Australia match against Germany. The tackle possibly rated a yellow and the German player wasn’t even injured by it. Meanwhile, a clear handball in the German area gets nothing. I have seen enough of Mexican officials in the North American MLS here to know they should not be anywhere near this World Cup.
A RED card was probably harsh as Cahill seemed to pull out of the tackle, and the contact came from Cahill’s shins – hardly lethal – and it certainly wasn’t violent.
I don’t see the point of going to ground – sliding – when tackling.
Very few players are any good at it and it usually results in a card of some colour.
It’s a free-kick, at best.
JERMAINE BECKFORD will be a good addition to our squad.
He has pace, can head and score – what more would we want for no transfer fee? Especially as Saha is injury prone, the Yak has not been at his best since his injury and Anichebe will never be any more than a bit part player.
I do think James Vaughan will go, however. Joleon2
JERMAINE BECKFORD will prove to be as big a bargain as Cahill and Arteta!
Well done Mr Moyes. Now just ensure that anyone who wants to go goes early and a replacement found. Felix
Everton FC striker James Vaughan could be allowed to join Celtic on loan
Jun 16 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
JAMES Vaughan could be allowed to join Celtic on loan as David Moyes does his old club a favour. The Glasgow giants are believed to be interested in taking the 21-year-old striker to Parkhead for the new season. Moyes has not given up on Vaughan despite his struggles with injuries, including a recent 19 months on the sidelines.
Vaughan was allowed to join Leicester City for a loan spell last season, but continued to suffer because of injuries and the move north of the border would be a fresh start in a league where fellow Everton youngster Lucas Jutkiewicz has also flourished.
Vaughan, who became the youngest player to score in the Premier League when he netted against Crystal Palace in April 2005 aged 16, surpassing James Milner, has fallen down the pecking order at Goodison since the summer signings of Joao Silva and Jermaine Beckford. But Moyes is keen to give him every chance of fulfilling his early promise and could see the move to Scotland as a way of kick-starting his stuttering career. Celtic would be able to cover his wages should they attempt to take him to Glasgow to boost their strikeforce and Moyes may be keen to do his old club a favour by sanctioning a deal. The youngster also has European experience having scored the winner in a 3–2 Everton victory over AZ Alkmaar in 2007.
His first appearance for Stuart Pearce’s England Under- 21 side came as a substitute in the 2–2 draw with Italy on June 14 2006 in England’s European Championship campaign. The Birmingham-born striker, who scored twice last season for the Blues, is on record as saying he is willing to go on loan. He has said: “If the gaffer decides he wants me to go out on loan again, then that is fine. If not I will fight for my place Everton.” Meanwhile, Tim Cahill faces a 24-hour wait to learn if he will play again in the World Cup. Football Federation Australia have written to Fifa stating Cahill’s case in an attempt to ensure he receives no increase in his one-game ban for a red card in Sunday’s defeat by Germany. While Cahill will definitely miss Saturday’s battle with Ghana in Rustenburg, the FIFA will review the decision and has the option to double the mandatory one-match ban. The FFA will do everything in its power to ensure Cahill is available for Australia’s final Group D game against Serbia four days later.
Cahill was left in tears after being harshly dismissed for a 57th minute tackle on German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger during Monday morning’s 4-0 capitulation against Germany. Overnight, he was able to avoid the spotlight as the Socceroos were given a day off by coach Pim Verbeek. And the midfielder has the backing of Verbeek. He said: “One game is more than enough because it’s not that bad.
“I saw the incident again and the decision seemed very harsh to me.”
Australia and Everton FC star Tim Cahill made to sweat on FIFA red card ruling
Jun 16 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
TIM CAHILL will face a further anxious 24-hour wait to find out if his World Cup dream is still alive. The Australian captain had expected to hear the outcome of FIFA’s disciplinary committee yesterday after he was sent off in his country’s opening Group D match with Germany on Sunday but a decision was delayed. After fouling midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 56th minute of the Socceroos’ 4-0 defeat, Cahill was shocked to see Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez brandish the red card and broke down in tears during the post-match press conference. The Everton player will certainly miss Australia’s next game against Ghana in Rustenburg on Saturday but is pleading with the football governing body not to extend his ban for a further match. Schweinsteiger has already publicly backed Cahill’s bid, saying the dismissal was harsh on the 30-year-old and now Australian coach Pim Verbeek has called on FIFA to show leniency towards his star player. The Australian football authority, the Football Federation Australia, are believed to have written to FIFA in order to plead Cahill’s case but will now not find out the decision until tomorrow. An additional game ban could effectively end the former Millwall man’s World Cup with Australia facing an uphill struggle to qualify after a meek performance in the loss to Germany.
The weekend’s clash with Ghana, who beat Serbia 1-0 in their first match of the tournament, is pivotal to Australia’s qualification hopes with a defeat all but ending their chances. Verbeek said: “One game is more than enough because it’s not that bad.
“I saw the incident again today and the decision (of Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez) seemed very harsh to me. “I have seen worse than in this tournament so far which have only been yellow cards. It wasn’t that he set out to hurt the player. A yellow card would have been more than enough.” Meanwhile, Everton striker Yakubu is confident Nigeria can bounce back from their opening Group B match loss to Argentina when they face Greece in Bloemfontein tomorrow afternoon.
Despite going down to Gabriel Heinze’s early header, Yakubu says the Super Eagles have taken heart from their performance. “We need to focus on our next game” said Yakubu. “Every game is important and we want to win and get to the next round. It is not going to be easy, but we have to get there for the fans. “We did well and we were unlucky not to win.”
Gary Bainbridge: A noise annoys unless it’s a nice noise
June 16 2010 Liverpool Daily Post
IN THE drudgery custard-filled days of Walter Smith's Everton reign, the monotonous and insistent drone of the vuvuzela would have provided a welcome spark of excitement. “Oh, look,” spectators would have said, “Another pinpoint Niclas Alexandersson pass has gone straight into the Bullens Road stand. Still, at least we have this grumbling bee noise to distract us.” But those were less demanding times. Nowadays, the vuvuzela horn is giving non-South Africans the hump on a massive scale. According to the BBC, 545 people complained to the broadcaster about the noise. My sympathy is with the Beeb on this one. Damned if you broadcast the vuvuzela noise, damned if you strip out all the sound from the match and replace it with the soundtrack from a completely different match but which has goals, highlights, fouls and controversial incidents at exactly the same points. As the saying goes. That doesn't mean I approve of the din. The big problem for me is the fact that it doesn't seem to do anything, like Prince Edward. If it's a constant noise, then it's meaningless. It's another method of saying, “I'm at the match,” when a more concise and eloquent way of expressing this thought is by simply being at the match, but I am no expert. It's a South African cultural thing. But, historically at least, we bear our own shame. The vuvuzela's howl is nothing compared with the rattles which British supporters used to swing, now mercifully defunct thanks to health, safety and anti-idiot legislation. Although I was delighted to discover this week that John Lewis is selling football rattles in its toy department. Presumably it also sells spats, jerkins and loon pants in its children's clothing department. But there is a place in football for horns and other noise-making devices. And I think they can be used to repair the damage wrought to the game's reputation by the prima donna alpha males marauding around the pitches of the Premiership. I am advocating that the kazoo make an appearance in the stands. Imagine the joyous kazoo fanfare that would greet a goal. Obviously, the supporters would have to get together before the match to decide which tune and tempo to use for the fanfare, otherwise there'd be a terrible cacophony.
And there would have to be some sort of conductor who would decide when to start, as it would be dreadful if the kazoo chorus started when, for example, Emile Heskey took a shot which then sailed harmlessly past the post before turning into a beautiful butterfly. I don't know if you've ever heard a kazoo player fade into embarrassed silence, but imagine hundreds of them doing it at once. Awful. But the musical instrument I would most like to see in the stadiums is the swanee whistle. For those not in the know, this is the whistle with a sliding attachment which raises or lowers the pitch. And this would be used whenever there was a foul or missed shot.
This would take the sting out of a two-footed tackle. Instead of the players having a big fight on the pitch and threatening to asphyxiate the referee, they'd all be standing about laughing at the comedy pratfall. Even the poor player rolling about in agony on the grass with a broken leg would have to smile. And instead of supporters getting irate and shouting abuse at the hapless, for the sake of argument, Emile Heskey, they would be chuckling and demanding that the funny missed shot be repeated on the big screen. “We're not very good,” one set of supporters would sing. “No, you're not, but at least we've all had a good laugh. Shall we have a pint after the game?” the other set of supporters would reply. You might think this is an impossible dream, but I'd venture it's a lot more likely than England winning the World Cup.
PHIL NEVILLE: I’m gutted for Tim Cahill after his red card for Australia
Jun 17 2010 Liverpool Echo
THE standard of refereeing at the World Cup has been outstanding in the main, so there is a dark irony that one of my closest mates was on the end of the worst decision to date. When I saw Tim Cahill receive a red card during Australia’s defeat against Germany, I knew instantly how much it would affect him. I instantly sent him a text and he got back to me shortly after; needless to say he was inconsolable.
There was no point telling him to keep his chin up or anything like that; no words can comfort in such moments and all I could do was tell him that if he wanted to talk, I was only too happy to listen. I know how much effort Tim has put into making sure he is in peak physical condition for this tournament; he has looked after himself, worked tirelessly for Everton and at the same time geared himself up for South Africa.
He’s Australia’s talisman, an icon Down Under, and to have his dreams squashed by a referee who was too hasty to reach for his pocket is desperate. I know all the lads at Everton will be gutted for him. But these things happen and it’s important Tim calls on his experience to help his team-mates when they need him; he is an infectious character, someone who is bubbly and great to have around the place and those qualities must come to the fore now. Australia need to bounce back and though Tim would want to help by being on the pitch against Ghana, he’s got to have an input from the sidelines. Knowing him as I do, I don’t doubt for one minute he will do anything else.
What’s behind Everton FC stopper Tim Howard’s goalkeeping success? His two children and a US rapper
June 17 2010 by Dawn Collinson, Liverpool Echo
THE England v USA game wasn’t a happy time for goalies ... or one of them at least.
But, while Rob Green was cursing his buttery fingers at one end of the pitch, things were working out much more favourably for Everton’s number one Tim Howard at the other. Now it seems national expectations are running high over the Pond after their weekend draw. A feature in cool American magazine Interview describes Team USA’s “four-year tour of duty” culminating in an epic series of 90-minute clashes with “the planet’s soccer superpowers”. And Howard is singled out as one of five “weapons of mass destruction gunning to turn David into Goliath”. It’s all OTT blockbuster stuff – complete with some very moody brooding looking photos – and the Blues’ Tim has a few confessions to make. He reveals his biggest off-the-pitch high is his kids, Alivia and Jacob – he has his daughter’s name tattooed on his ribs and his son’s on his chest. And, he confesses, he gets himself fired up for matches by listening to Talkin’ Ain’t Walkin’ by Memphis rapper Lil’ Wyte. “It’s like a me-against-the-world kind of thing,” he explains. Maybe our Rob might want to get downloading that one ASAP.
Premier League fixtures 2010/11: Everton FC to start with trip to Blackburn Rovers
Jun 17 2010 Dan Kay
EVERTON FC will begin the new season with an away fixture against Blackburn Rovers. The Premier League fixtures for the 2010/11 season were announced this morning and have sent David Moyes's side to Ewood Park on the opening weekend, giving the Blues their first opening day away trip since they visited Arsenal in 2003.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are the first visitors to Goodison Park a week later while August ends with a trip to Villa Park on the 28th. September sees two attractive home games against Manchester United (11th) and Newcastle (18th) along with a trip to Fulham (28th) while October sees the first Merseyside derby of the campaign at Goodison Park (16th) and away-days to Birmingham (2nd) and Spurs (23rd).
Everton make their first visit to Bloomfield Road, Blackpool for nearly 40 years on November 6th while the festive programme sees a home game on Boxing Day against Birmingham and trips to West Ham (Dec 28th) and Stoke (New Year's Day).
January sees intriguing matches against Spurs at home (5th) and the return Merseyside derby at Anfield (15th) while February brings trips to Arsenal (1st) and Bolton (12th) either side of home games against Blackpool (5th) and Sunderland (26th).
The Blues face a testing run-in after matches in March against Newcastle away (5th) and Fulham at Goodison (19th) with trips to Man Utd (April 23rd), Wigan (April 30th) and West Brom (May 14th). There are also home games against Blackburn (April 16th) and Man City (May 7th) before last season's champions Chelsea conclude the season at Goodison, where they were beaten last campaign, on May 22nd.
Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard will push through pain barrier for USA
Jun 17 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD will push himself through the pain barrier to help keep the USA’s World Cup dream alive. The Everton goalkeeper injured his ribs in a heavy collision with Emile Heskey during the 1-1 draw with England last weekend. The 31-year-old underwent tests on Monday to check whether he had broken a rib, but USA medical staff are confident he is able to play on. And Howard says he is feeling better and insisted it would take much more to keep him out of the American goal when they face Slovenia tomorrow. He said: “It’s getting better. Time is a good healer. It’s going to be sore. I’m a firm believer in adrenaline. You can’t get enough of it.
“I feel like once I get out there, I will be ready. I won’t be stopped by it. If you play at the highest level, I think you have to play through injuries.” The suspected diagnosis is that the Goodison keeper has only bruised his ribs, but he will continue to be closely monitored by his side’s medical team. “Not knowing (if they are broken) is probably better,” Howard said. Although, he added: “If the docs and the medical team felt like I needed it, I would certainly do that. I won’t be stupid with it. At least I don’t think I will be.” Meanwhile, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) are confident Tim Cahill will face no further punishment from FIFA today for his red card against Germany last Sunday. While Cahill will definitely miss Saturday’s battle with Ghana in Rustenburg, FIFA have reviewed the decision and will announce today whether they have doubled the mandatory one-match ban. The FFA has done everything in its power to ensure Cahill is available for Australia’s final Group D game against Serbia four days later. FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said Cahill was still coming to terms with his early exit in Durban, but said he was confident the midfielder would be back. “Quite rightly he’s somewhat disappointed, but our submission is going in this morning,” he said. “We’ve had a very comprehensive review of it.
“We’re confident that it will get a good hearing.” And Toffees defender Joseph Yobo is convinced Nigeria can recover from their defeat by Argentina and get back on track by beating Greece today. He said: “We will get better by the next game and show the real Nigerian team. We only need to do a little more and we’re back in contention.”
Everton FC star Tim Cahill faces no extra punishment from Fifa over red card
Jun 17 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
TIM Cahill will still play a part in Australia’s World Cup group challenge after Fifa decided he would face no further punishment for his red card against Germany.
The Everton midfielder was sent off for a mistimed but non-malicious second-half tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 4-0 defeat, and was certain to miss his country’s next game against Ghana on Saturday. But the 30-year-old then faced an agonising wait to learn if Fifa would extend the ban to two games, ruling him out of any further football in the group stages. He will now be available for Australia’s final group game with Serbia on June 23
Liverpool FC's Martin Skrtel tells of World Cup heartache
Jun 17 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post (Jan Mucha played for Slovakia)
CRESTFALLEN Martin Skrtel has revealed his disappointment after an opening World Cup match draw with New Zealand. The Slovakian defender was helpless as Winston Reid’s 94th minute header cancelled out Robert Vittek’s early second half opener to give the underdogs their first ever point in competition. Slovakia had dominated a poor game and looked sure to kick-start their Group F campaign with three points but with seconds remaining Reid popped up to leave Liverpool’s Skrtel bitterly upset. However the 25-year-old remained bullish his national side would make amends from the set-back when facing Paraguay in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon. Skrtel said: “Obviously we are very disappointed. They had maybe two clear chances and they scored with the final whistle. “Unfortunately it was the same thing as against Cameroon (in a World Cup preparation game which also ended 1-1). We didn’t give them a lot of space. It was not an excellent performance but this is how you play in the World Cup. It is the result that counts. “It would have been a huge step forward but we didn’t manage to hold on to three points. Nothing is lost though.
“It hurts today but we have two more matches to play in our group. We were very disappointed but, as I said, we have to go on.” Meanwhile, England right-back Glen Johnson has told of his delight at being with the squad in South Africa. “Every kid dreams of playing in the World Cup so it is a dream come true,” he said.
Everton striker Yakubu: I will run until I fall down
Jun 17 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON striker Ayegbeni Yakubu has promised to run until he drops for Nigeria.
He is also determined to get on the scoresheet in South Africa. “As a striker you’re always under pressure to get goals,” he said. “You can play well and contribute, but if you don’t put the ball in the net people will criticise you and say you’re not doing the right things. “I want to get goals more than anybody to make the people back home in Nigeria happy. “I give everything I have when I pull on the shirt of my country and I will keep on doing it until I fall down.” Yakubu is living the dream and delighted to be in the squad alongside Nigeria legend Kanu. He said: “I remember watching the World Cup on TV with family and friends when I was a young boy, and I never dreamt I would be there, playing in one. “Being here, and with a legend like Kanu as a team-mate, I can remember what it felt like to be a boy and dream.” Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback says he is “positive” going into the crucial Group B match against Greece today at the Free State Stadium. Even though his side lost to Argentina in the opening match, the former Sweden boss took a lot out of the game.
Lagerback said: “I am feeling positive. This a big challenge and probably a match we must win if we are not to go home. “We have had a good week. I have been impressed with the players’ attitude and the way they have trained. We need to start winning of course.”
Glasgow Rangers striker Kris Boyd would welcome move to Everton FC
Jun 17 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
KRIS BOYD would welcome a move to the Premier League with Everton reportedly mulling over a bid for the striker. The Rangers hitman was linked with the Goodison Park outfit this week as rumours circled David Moyes’ men had joined the race for the 26-year-old. Coming to the end of his contract at the Ibrox Stadium, Boyd would be available on a free transfer alerting a host of top flight English clubs.
The Daily Post understands offers have already been forthcoming however, Everton are yet to make any formal approach for the Scottish Premier League’s all time leading scorer. And given the recent acquisition of Jermaine Beckford, Boyd would not be an automatic first choice at Goodison Park, though is known to be keen on making a move to Merseyside. As well as reported interest from Turkish side Kayserispor, who were at one stage favourites to capture the Scotland international, Premier League sides Aston Villa and Birmingham City were thought to be interested as well as Championship outfit Middlesbrough. The Daily Post believes Moyes has been contacted about the availability of Boyd, who has a record 164 SPL goals to him name, but has yet to indicate if Everton are likely to make a move. Meanwhile, Nigerian captain Joseph Yobo has backed the side to overcome the disappointment of The Everton defender said: “We will get better by the next game and show the real Nigerian team. We only need to do a little more against Greece to win and we will be back in contention.” Australian skipper Tim Cahill will today discover the outcome of a FIFA disciplinary committee decision and with it, his World Cup fate.
The Everton midfielder is definitely banned for the Socceroos Group D match with Ghana on Saturday but is hoping the governing body will not upgrade the suspension for a second game. Australian Football Federation chief executive Ben Buckley was confident the 30-year-old would be eligible to feature is the final group match.
He said: “Quite rightly he’s somewhat disappointed “The team that has put the submission together has worked long and hard on it. We’re confident that it will get a good hearing.”
Everton FC manager David Moyes rules out World Cup buys
Jun 18 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES admits he is unlikely to target any rising stars in the World Cup – because success in the tournament would make them too expensive. The Everton boss is in South Africa as a radio pundit and newspaper columnist, but has also been running the rule over potential new recruits for the Blues. However, the Goodison boss is wary of the track record of past World Cup signings in the Premier League, and feels it is unlikely he will do any business on the back of just watching players in the tournament. He said: “I don’t think you tend to come away from the World Cup and buy because in the past a lot of people have bought from the World Cup and it’s not quite worked. “Also it’s expensive when you come back if someone has had a really good World Cup, their clubs you are taking them from are asking even more money.” Moyes is aware of the constant speculation linking his own crop of World Cup stars, like Steven Pienaar, John Heitinga and Yakubu with moves to other clubs, and believes it is inevitable because of the strength of his squad. He said: “Everyone wants something don’t they? We’ve got a lot of good players at Everton just now, who could play at the top level. They really could. “I’ve seen nearly all of my players out here. I want to see that my boys are doing well and enjoying their football for their countries.”Meanwhile, Tim Howard insists Everton will take on the top four with supreme confidence next season. The USA goalkeeper was in bullish mood after the 2010/11fixtures were announced, and believes the season finale against Chelsea will hold no fear after they took four points from the West Londoners last term.
Everton have been handed a last-day clash with the champions on May 22, 2011.
The Toffees were among only a small group of teams to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side last season, recording a dramatic 2-1 win at Goodison. Now Howard, who was man of the match when the USA drew with England last Saturday, said: “We are looking forward to this game. “It is always special when we play Chelsea at Goodison. We always give them a really good fight and last season we showed what we could do. Hopefully we can do the same thing again to them this season on the final day.
“Our confidence will be high when we face them because of last season’s result,” he continued. “The expectation level has also risen and that is fantastic that we are expected to do well even against the biggest teams in the country.” At the World Cup, Tim Cahill is hoping Australia can scrape through, after Fifa decided he would face no further punishment for his red card against Germany. Cahill, 30, will miss Saturday’s clash with Ghana but has been given the green-light to return and help the Socceroos beat Serbia on June 23.
Everton FC's Tim Howard relishing return of Chelsea to Goodison Park
Jun 18 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
TIM HOWARD admits he cannot wait for the last day of the season when he is confident Everton can claim another scalp of Chelsea. The American goalkeeper has singled out the visit of the Premier League title favourites on Sunday, May 22 as his stand out fixture of the season. Everton memorably beat the Stamford Bridge side at Goodison 2-1 in February thanks from two goals from Louis Saha and Howard is predicting another uncomfortable trip for Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Howard said: “We are looking forward to this game. “It is always special when we play Chelsea at Goodison. We always give them a really good fight and last season we showed what we could do. Hopefully we can do the same thing again to them this season on the final day. “Our confidence will be high when we face them because of last season's result. “The expectation level has also risen and that is fantastic that we are expected to do well even against the biggest teams in the country.” Meanwhile, Tim Cahill will play at least one more game in the World Cup after FIFA kept his ban to just one match. Following a red card in Australia’s opening match against Germany, Cahill feared the governing body would deem the offence worthy of a second game suspension. but Cahill was spared the additional punishment and is now eligible to face Serbia in the final Group D match on June 23.
Everton FC letters: Phil Jagielka should have been at World Cup
Jun 19 2010 Liverpool Echo
CAPELLO’S made some terrible choices with his squad – but the most obvious one is taking Ledley King instead of Mr Reliable - Phil Jagielka. King was obviously never going to make it through the group stages, let alone the entire tournament – though I doubt many of us would have predicted he’d be crocked inside the first half of a disappointing draw with the United States. And now Capello has to rely on players of debatable quality, like Jamie Carragher, who’s obviously good at club level but was found desperately short of pace at the weekend. Jagielka on the other hand is fit, fast, and excellent when in posession – had he not suffered that cruel injury he would have been a shoe-in for an England berth. Ah, well, England’s loss is Everton’s gain.
I KNOW it’s early days but I am a bit concerned that David Moyes says he’s at the World Cup with no intention of buying anyone. I’m not daft enough to not know that players prices get inflated due to a couple of good games but why go all the way to South Africa if you aren’t doing your homework with the intention of bringing some players back to Goodison? Also, we’re bound to lose Steven Pienaar so we need to look for a midfield replacement for our undoubted player of the season.
GREAT to see Tim Howard performing well against England. And with the addition of Jan Mucha also in the Blues squad I think we’ve a great battle for the number one shirt next season.
I’M glad Tim Cahill will be able to feature for Australia in their last game of the World Cup. It was such a shame that such a bad decision cost him and his team-mates in their game against Germany. The standard of refereeing has been exceptional so far in South Africa but this decision was awful for Tim.
Royal Blue: Everton FC are up for a stadium award
June 19 2010 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have been nominated in the Stadium Business Awards 2010.
The Blues’ Stadium Department are up for the ‘unsung hero’ award for their tireless, round the clock work at Goodison Park. The new awards are the first to recognise achievements in the stadium industry, covering all aspects of the international stadium and sports venue sector including individual staff, events and venues. Winners will be announced during the Stadium Business Summit at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin on June 17 2010. There were almost 1,000 nominations in all categories and Everton’s stadium team will be up against Real Madrid groundsman Paul Burgess and Paula Street from caterers Lindley Group. The eventual winners will be decided by an independent panel of industry figures including Michael Bollingbroke of Manchester United Football Club, Paul Latham, of Live Nation Entertainment, and Erik Stover, General Manager of Tim Howard’s first club the Red Bull New York soccer team.
Everton staff Richard Cairns, Paul Shelley and Syl Nolan will be heading to Dublin with their fingers crossed.
The World Cup in one city - Liverpool FC and Everton FC's England heroes
June 19 2010 by Dawn Collinson, Liverpool Echo
Dawn Collinson on Mersey players who went global WHEN England jetted off to South Africa in pursuit of the nation’s World Cup dream, a trio of Reds was flying the flag for Liverpool. Steven Gerrard lines up alongside teammates Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson as the Three Lions bid to bring home the biggest prize in football.
No Blues, sadly, although the Everton contingent is (or was, until that rogue red card) featuring for Australia, South Africa, Holland, Nigeria and the USA.
In all, 18 players from the city have made their way to the tournament this year to represent their countries. But it’s certainly not the first time that Liverpool and Everton stars have played a major role in the World Cup - three even helped England to their last victory all those years ago. Back in 1966, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson and Ian Callaghan were a part of the winning squad. Callaghan only played once but Ray Wilson - the oldest to be selected at 32 - was an ever-present as Ramsey's England got through a World Cup group consisting of Uruguay, Mexico and France.
They went on to win a fiercely contested quarter final against Argentina and a semi final against Portugal, which was Wilson's 50th appearance for his country, before the now legendary final against West Germany. Roger Hunt had notched up 33 goals in all competitions for Liverpool that season, and scored three goals in England's first three group matches. He was the sole Liverpool player on the pitch when they lifted the trophy after the 4-2 extra-time win in the final. Four years later, Everton boasted the strongest national contingent with Alan Ball, Brian Labone, Tommy Wright and Keith Newton all making the trip to Mexico. Liverpool’s only representative was Emlyn Hughes, an unused sub in each of the games. In 1982, it was down to the Reds’ two Phils - Thompson and Neal - to make the city’s presence felt in Spain. Unfortunately, having made it comfortably through the group stage, they came unstuck in the next round to the host nation. But four years on it was back to Blue as England returned to Mexico with four Everton players in their squad: Gary Lineker, Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens and Peter Reid. Italia 90 saw only Lineker still selected, and by now he was playing for Spurs, but Liverpool players featured again in the shape of Peter Beardsley, John Barnes and Steve McMahon. Fast forward to 1998 and Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Paul Ince all made the trip to France. 18-year-old Owen was the tournament sensation. In England's second round match against Argentina he scored a sensational individual goal. He was still up front in 2002, when the World Cup was held in South Korea, this time partnered by Liverpool teammate Emile Heskey. The last competition, in Germany four years ago, was again led by the Reds – Gerrard, Carragher, Peter Crouch and keeper Scott Carson.
Liverpool’s skipper hit two goals against Trinidad & Tobago and Sweden but failed from the spot as Portugal ended Sven Goran Eriksson's team's hopes in the quarter-final stage. Jamie Carragher and Frank Lampard also missed. Gerrard, of course, now proudly wears the armband for England as well as Liverpool as the Three Lions chase a long-overdue win in South Africa. Let’s just hope it never goes to penalties.
Royal Blue: Everton FC’s historic match with Chilean Club Everton is set to spice-up summer
Jun 19 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
THE earthquake which ripped through the Chilean coast in February killed hundreds and left the nation’s economy reeling. Money which had been set aside for infrastructure improvement and public works disappeared, as the Government simply focused on keeping people alive and with a roof over their heads. One of the many schemes to suffer as a result of the murderous act of nature was a plan to rebuild ageing football stadiums in the country. Perhaps inconsequential as funeral followed funeral in towns destroyed by the quake, but a blow for the game in Chile nevertheless. That’s why there is genuine excitement gripping the coastal region of Valparaiso, but in particular the city of Vina Del Mar, where followers of ‘the other’ Everton are counting down the days until a historic date in late summer.
The friendly at Goodison Park on August 4 will be the first time that a Chilean club has ever visited Britain, and it’s a great source of pride for the people of Vina del Mar.
The city’s mayor Virginia Reginato will make the trip to Liverpool, and officials from CD Everton have already been here on a fact-finding mission. Earlier this year, Chilean journalist Juan Pablo Salgado sent a report to members of the Ruleteros Society in Liverpool, who brokered the game after years of patient campaigning.
It says: ‘The earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter Scale that hit Chile, the fifth largest ever recorded in world history, had a massive effect on all spheres of life.
‘Cities were totally destroyed, giant waves washed away small fishing villages and an atmosphere of general panic became the norm for the Chilean people over a period of several days. ‘And football was no exception. ‘To begin with, the championship was suspended for several weeks. Then when the season resumed, it was with a big change. Normally there are two championships in one year, with a summer recess in between. However, due to the disruption caused by the earthquake, the champions will emerge at the end of a single season – a rarity in Latin America in recent years.
‘The earthquake left several grounds badly damaged, among them Everton’s Sausalito Stadium in Viña del Mar – the second most used venue of the 1962 World Cup.
‘The Sausalito was so badly damaged that Everton had to play their home matches five miles away in Valparaíso at the home of arch-rivals Wanderers.
‘Owing to the poor condition of the playing surface, Everton found difficulty in playing their usual passing game and their form suffered. ‘It was not until May 2, after a 10-week enforced absence, that Nelson Acosta’s team were finally allowed back into their home ground.’
Despite their difficulties, CD Everton went into the mid-season break ahead of the World Cup in sixth place. The league will resume after the South African showpiece ends when Everton will have the opportunity to put a few games under their belt, on July 18 against Audax Italiano and on July 25 against Universidad Catolica, before crossing the Andes, Amazon and Atlantic to make history for “that game” at Goodison Park on Wednesday August 4’. President of Everton Chile, Antonio Bloise Ramos, has expressed his ‘profound joy that a contest between Everton Chile and Everton Football Club of Liverpool has materialised. He said: “Our supporters have been eagerly awaiting such a game for a long time now, as, I am told, have yours. The official announcement of the game certainly didn’t go unnoticed here in Viña del Mar and the realisation that the game will go ahead has caused widespread excitement across Chile.” Despite the cost of travelling to Liverpool varying between 2,000 and 3,200 dollars per person, interest in watching this momentous match in Everton’s history is on the increase. According to Bloise, many more fans may sign up for the trip over the next few weeks. TV stations in Santiago have shown an interest in televising the game. It looks like Los Ruleteros, founded more than 100 years ago by Anglo-Chilean teenagers inspired by a certain touring side from Walton, are relishing the clash. They are not turning up just for fun either – insisting they will compete at full throttle to win a game they will treat like a cup final. The clash will be a pleasant and deserved distraction from the brutal reality of life in an earthquake zone.
Frustrated Donovan at a loss
Jun 19 2010 (Tim Howard played for America)
United States midfielder Landon Donovan was left without an answer as to why what would have been a winning goal in their World Cup Group C match against Slovenia was disallowed. The Americans fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 when Donovan put a free-kick into the box and Maurice Edu applied the finish - but Malian referee Koman Coulibaly ruled it out and did not give any reason. Donovan said: "I'm assuming it was a foul somewhere, it couldn't have been offside. We asked many times who the foul was by but he wouldn't or couldn't explain it." He added: "I don't know what to think of the call, I didn't see a foul. "To be honest I'm not sure how much English he speaks but when we asked in a non-confrontational manner why he had given the foul, he just ignored us." US coach Bob Bradley was not given a satisfactory explanation either and felt if any infringement had been committed, it was by the defending Slovenians. He said: "In the midst of a game and everything that's going on it's rare that when a tough call is made that the referee will give you an answer. "Sometimes, after the fact, you get an answer, and sometimes that's not the case either. "Sometimes you are frustrated because you feel that situations have not been handled 100% correctly or fairly, but that's the way the game works and you move on."
Sneijder maintains Dutch form
Jun 19 2010 (John Heitinga played for Holland)
Wesley Sneijder's second-half goal handed Holland a 1-0 win over Japan in their second Group E match and put the Oranje within reach of the last 16 of the World Cup after taking maximum points from their opening two games. Following a frustrating opening half, Bert van Marwijk's side finally broke through in the 52nd minute with Sneijder's stinging drive deflected into the net by Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima. Japan had the best chance to level the score one minute from time but an unmarked substitute Shinji Okazaki fired over the bar from just 10 yards as Holland held on for victory. Holland dominated the early exchanges and created the first chance after four minutes when Robin van Persie's teasing cross from the left flashed across the goal and just eluded Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt. Shortly after the half hour Keisuke Honda nodded high from Daisuke Matsui's free-kick. Tulio Nataka then latched onto Yasushito Endo's free-kick and his header went wide as Japan got closer.
Japan first tested Maarten Stekelenburg in the 37th minute, with Matsui's volley forcing a save from the Holland goalkeeper. Holland pressed forward more aggressively after the break and Van Persie twice had the chance to break the deadlock. His weak header from Giovanni van Bronckhorst's cross proved an easy save for Kawashima and seconds later, the Arsenal striker fired wide from 15 yards.
The Dutch took the lead soon after. A poor headed clearance from Japan's defence fell to Van Persie who spotted Sneijder and the Inter Milan winger's powerful strike came off Kawashima and found the back of the net. Japan reacted and Yoshito Okubo forced a good save from Stekelenburg with a stinging drive from 25 yards. Shortly after, Okubo fired over the bar then dragged wide as the Blue Samurai surged for the equaliser. Substitute Ibrahim Afellay twice had the chance to put the game beyond Japan's reach in the latter stages and he almost lived to regret his wastefulness, as, with seconds left to play, Okazaki struck wide from close-range.
PIENAAR'S 55K TO STAY
June 20 2010 (Sunday Star)
EVERTON boss David Moyes is confident Steven Pienaar will commit himself to the club after the World Cup.Goodison chiefs have spent the past 12 months putting together a lucrative £55,000-a-week package which will make South African Pienaar the highest-paid player in the club’s history. But Pienaar, 28, with one year left on his current deal, flew to South Africa without putting pen to paper, preferring to decide on his future when his country’s interest in the tournament was over.That left Everton with a nervous wait before they could speak to Pienaar, who has become a major target for Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. But Moyes, working in Johannesburg at the World Cup as a radio pundit, believes Pienaar will agree to the new contract when he returns from his homeland. Toffees chief Moyes would hate to lose Pienaar, who played for Dutch giants Ajax and in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund before joining the Merseyside club in 2008. Last year former Russian champions Rubin Kazan tabled a £4.5million bid to Everton for him, which was knocked back.
Moyes knows he has a fight on his hands to keep the cultured playmaker – but if he can’t be persuaded to stay then the club will slap a £15m price tag on his head.
Paraguay cruise past Slovakia
Jun 20 2010 (Jan Mucha played for Slovakia)
Paraguay are in sight of the second phase of the World Cup after goals from Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros gave them a 2-0 victory against Slovakia in Group F.
It was just the result coach Gerardo Martino was looking for after the draw with reigning world champions Italy in their opening game. Vera made the breakthrough in the 27th minute after a spell of sustained pressure at the Free State Stadium. Paraguay then squandered a number of good chances to extend their advantage before Riveros added a second with five minutes to go. It is Slovakia's first appearance in the finals and they are heading for an early exit. The team's only effort of note came in stoppage time when substitute Filip Holosko's shot was turned over the bar by goalkeeper Justo Villar. Paraguay dictated the pace from the start and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz, who returned after a minor injury, came close to scoring twice. The South Americans were having the majority of possession and Paulo Da Silva was only inches away from making contact at the back post following a free-kick by Claudio Morel. Paraguay's pressure paid when Lucas Barrios released Vera and he got the better of Jan Durica to hook the ball home. Slovakia tried to step up the tempo at the start of the second half but Paraguay looked well in control. Vera should have scored his second goal of the game in the 72nd minute following a swift counter attack. However he steered a header wide in front of the posts following a cross and some good skill from Santa Cruz, who was unhappy at some of his treatment from Liverpool's Martin Skrtel. Paraguay extended their advantage in the 85th minute when Da Silva played the ball into Riveros and he curled a shot into the corner.
Leighton Baines sure Everton FC will challenge for Champions League spot
June 21 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON BAINES believes Everton can jostle up the Premier League’s top four once again next season – regardless of who David Moyes signs this summer.
Everton’s manager has made it clear he will not get caught up in auctions for players who perform well at the World Cup or get caught paying over the odds.
So far he has brought in Jermaine Beckford from Leeds United on a Bosman transfer and added Portuguese hot-shot Joao Silva for a nominal fee. But Moyes’ priority is keeping his current stars at Goodison Park and, should he do that, Baines is confident of the Blues enjoying another stellar campaign. Provided they don’t endure the fitness problems that decimated much of last season, Baines – who was discarded from England’s World Cup plans by Fabio Capello – is sure Everton can make waves.
Everton showed when beating Chelsea and Manchester United at Goodison they have the tools to flatten the best when in the mood and Baines believes that will be the case again. “There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ about the season just gone,” he says. “If we had started with everyone fit and available – given the way we had finished the season – we would have been right in contention for fourth place. “That was the big disappointment. "But now everyone is looking to next season and if we manage to stay away from those injuries and keep everyone fit, maybe if there is one or two additions here and there, great. “But if there isn’t, then it’s not a problem because we have proved since the turn of the New Year what a good side we are.
"We are a match for anyone, as we showed against Chelsea and United. "Hopefully it will be another exciting season.” Moyes, who has been in South Africa working for the BBC during the World Cup, has spoken with Steven Pienaar about extending his current stay on Merseyside for the foreseeable future. And it has also been reported similar moves are afoot for Mikel Arteta, who has two years left on his present deal.
Bolton Wanderers battle Celtic FC for Everton FC striker Vaughan
by Jack Failsworth. Published Mon 21 June
Bolton Wanderers are reportedly ready to do battle with Celtic FC to land Everton FC forward James Vaughan. The News of the World claims Wanderers are favourites to sign the Toffees’ £1 million-rated striker. The 21-year-old striker – who has suffered a series of knee injuries – is also believed to be interesting Hoops boss Neil Lennon.
The Scottish giants are keen to take the forward on a season-long loan to replace Robbie Keane, who has returned to Tottenham following a successful spell at Celtic Park.
Steven Pienaar's World Cup diary: Uruguay striker Diego Forlan left us all in morning
By Steven Pienaar
Daily Maul 21st June 2010
It's been a very difficult few days since our defeat by Uruguay. I am still really upset. After the game it was like a funeral in the dressing room. Nobody spoke. No one was in the mood to say what they really felt. In the camp everyone is down.
The manner of our loss was very frustrating. The first Diego Forlan goal came so quickly that it was as if we had been punched hard in the face. As a South African player you are used to the noise of the vuvuzelas but after that goal it was silent. You couldn't believe the change in atmosphere and it was a shock we didn't recover from.
Folan: different class The harsh truth for us is, if you have too many players from your local league in the side, you have to play 200 per cent above your level to beat opposition like Uruguay. They were more experienced than us and we had no flair. Our substitute goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs is normally good at saving penalties. But he said to me afterwards: 'Diego Forlan doesn't take penalties like they do in the Premier South Africa League!' I'm not sure it was a penalty or, if so, it was not a red card. We can hear the fans starting to criticise us now though. We are long shots to qualify and frankly, I can't see that happening. We have to score goals against France on Thursday and wait on the Mexico v Uruguay result. I watched England and in many ways it is similar to us. The expectation to win is too great. People talk of England winning the World Cup but that's too ambitious. Against Algeria they didn't have one player who was outstanding. But I'm relatively confident they can beat Slovenia and go through. I'm just hoping against hope we can be there too.
Steven Pienaar future still in balance at Everton FC
Jun 22 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post
STEVEN PIENAAR’S agent has denied Everton have offered the player a club record deal to keep him at Goodison. Weekend reports claimed manager David Moyes had met with Pienaar in South Africa to offer the midfielder a contract that would make him the club’s highest earner. Everton officials met with Pienaar and his agent several times prior to the World Cup but reached a stalemate over the terms of a new deal.
With Premier League clubs Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City keeping a close eye on proceedings, Pienaar – who is about to enter the final year of his current contract – has seen his bargaining position strengthen at Goodison. Moyes is reluctant to lose one of his star performers though, and is reported to have taken time out from his World Cup summarising role with BBC Radio Five Live to present the South African international with the generous package. However, Pienaar’s agent Ivan Modia has moved quickly to refute the claims insisting both parties haven’t met since before the World Cup. Modia said: “I am reluctant to discuss the situation now, but I can confirm that I have been here (at the World Cup) since June 11 and neither myself nor Steven have met with David Moyes regarding the contract. “The last time I sat down with Everton was early June. “Steven has a year to go on his Everton contract and is not entitled to talk to other clubs.” With Everton keen to hold on to Pienaar, the player would have to hand in a transfer request for that to change. For now, he is focusing only on South Africa’s make-or-break final group game against France today. Last week’s 3-0 defeat to Uruguay sees the Bafana Bafana rooted to the bottom of Group A with just one point courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Mexico in the opening match of the tournament. To progress to the knockout stage the host nation need a substantial win over France in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium this afternoon, plus a slice of luck in the corresponding fixture between Uruguay and Mexico.
Tesco to unveil new Kirkby masterplan to replace Everton FC scheme “in weeks”
Jun 22 2010 by Ben Schofield, Liverpool Echo
NEW plans to transform Kirkby following the collapse of Everton FC’s stadium dream will be revealed within weeks. Supermarket giant Tesco, which owns most of the town centre, started drawing up the scheme after the £450m Destination Kirkby was blocked by the government. Tesco and Everton had wanted to build a 50,000-seater stadium and a shopping complex. The new plan will almost certainly include a supermarket, which will be used to entice other shops to the town, but will be smaller than the scrapped Destination Kirkby. Knowsley council also published the results of survey yesterday showing what Kirkby residents wanted to see built in the town.
From more than 1,600 responses it received, the council said seven out of 10 people said either a new food store or new shops should be the top priority when the town is redeveloped. More than half rejected the idea of having either a new private-sector office quarter or social and entertainment facilities. Tesco said it will use the results of the survey when it puts the finishing touches to its new plans. It will also ask Kirkby residents for their thoughts.The company’s corporate affairs manager Michael Kissman told the ECHO: “We will be going out with our own consultation in the next couple of weeks, which will be our view of how the masterplan could work.
“We will want feedback ourselves from people. We will finalise a planning application over the coming weeks and months and lodge it with Knowsley council.
“It is a significant investment in Kirkby and it will be different to the previous application. “It will be very exciting for the town. It will be a large investment which will create hundreds of jobs for the town.” The project is now in the hands of Spenhill Developments, a regeneration company entirely owned by Tesco. It works all over the country on “mixed-use” schemes which include restaurants, bars, shops and houses.
Commenting on the survey results, Cllr Dave Lonergan, Knowsley council’s cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: “The feedback was broad and varied, with comments being made on a range of topics relating to the town centre.
“It included feedback about improving the visual appearance of the town centre, enhancing transport links and increasing the perception of safety in the area.”
Everton FC hopeful of sealing deals for Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta
June 22 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON remain confident that the creative hub of their squad will still be in place to lead a top-four charge at Goodison next season. Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta are both discussing new deals, with fresh speculation over the pair’s futures appearing daily. At the weekend Arteta was reported to be ready to sign a new contract at Everton out of “loyalty to manager David Moyes.” While last night a statement from Pienaar’s agent, Ivan Modia, was interpreted in some quarters as suggesting the player was on a collision course with the club. Everton do not expect to hear from Arteta’s representatives until the squad reports back for pre-season training later this month.
While Blues officials are becoming increasingly frustrated by Pienaar’s reluctance to put pen to paper on a new deal, but have no plans to cash in on the player.
Asked about weekend reports that Pienaar had been offered a new £55,000 a week deal, agent Modia said: “No, quite frankly nothing came out of our last meeting.
"The last time I sat with them is early June. "We haven’t spoken to Moyes, but the player is still an Everton player, and I’m not going to talk about anything more than that. "We will see.”No new offer has been made to Pienaar, but the £55,000 a week figure significantly undersells the offer made to the South African before he left for the World Cup. If Pienaar had signed the new deal, which he rejected, he would have become the highest paid player at the club. While Goodison officials are becoming frustrated by Pienaar’s stance, there is no appetite to cash in on a player who has become an important member of David Moyes’ squad. The player is clearly biding his time to see if any offers come in for him, although ironically he is one of the few players to have been substituted by his country in both of his World Cup appearances to date. Pienaar is back in action this afternoon when South Africa face France – and despite the apparently hopeless position of both nations Pienaar has refused to throw in the towel. Bafana Bafana need a miracle to avoid becoming the first World Cup hosts to fail to qualify for the second round. They must not only clinch three points but hope there’s a winner in the game between Mexico and Uruguay with a five-goal swing to sneak into the last 16. However, Pienaar is keeping the faith and believes they are capable of bouncing back from their 3-0 defeat to Uruguay to pile the misery on a French side in disarray. “It’s going to be a new day, a new game and new opponents,” he said. “We are playing at a different stadium. We just have to give our utmost, go out there and believe in ourselves. “The manner of our loss to Uruguay was very frustrating. The first Diego Forlan goal came so quickly that it was as if we had been punched hard in the face. “After the game it was like a funeral in the dressing room. Nobody spoke. No-one was in the mood to say what they really felt.
“But you have to pick yourself up if you want to be successful. I hope God will open the doors that are shut for us. “They say if you want to be successful you have to go through turbulence and trials. “And maybe the Uruguay game was one of those moments.”
Hosts defeat France as both bow out
Jun 22 2010
Steven Pieenar played for South Africa
France exited the World Cup at the first-round stage with barely a whimper after a humbling 2-1 defeat by host nation South Africa in a Group A clash at the Free State Stadium. South Africa, who also failed to make it through to the second round, took advantage with Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela both finding the target in the first half, although Florent Malouda stepped off the bench to pull a goal back for France. On a day of drama Raymond Domenech stripped Patrice Evra of the captaincy and handed the armband to Alou Diarra instead. Then the coach saw his side reduced to 10 men after 26 minutes when Yoann Gourcuff was sent off. France were rocked in the 20th minute when South Africa made the breakthrough, which led to pandemonium in the stadium. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris failed to cut out a corner from Siphiwe Tshabalala and Khumalo took advantage to score with a header at the back post. France's troubles increased in the 26th minute when they were reduced to 10 men with Gourcuff sent off by Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz for an aerial challenge on Macbeth Sibaya. South Africa were growing in confidence and Tshabalala whipped a free-kick over the bar in the 34th minute before they extended their lead three minutes later. Mphela clipped the ball home after being sent up by Bernard Parker with France in disarray at the back. Steven Pienaar then found the net for South Africa but his effort was disallowed and Mphela saw his shot turned around the post by Lloris. Malouda was introduced at the start of the second half but France were soon pegged back. Parker sent his shot into arms of Lloris and Mphela's effort clipped the outside of the post. South Africa were caught napping in the 70th minute and failed to track Malouda, who pulled a goal back following a cross from Franck Ribery.
South Korea progress after draw
Jun 22 2010 (Yakubu and Yobo Play fpr Nigeria)
South Korea clinched a place in the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time on foreign soil despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Nigeria in their final Group B match in Durban. Kalu Uche opened the scoring for the African team in the 12th minute. Lee Jung-soo equalised in the 38th minute and then Park Chu-young's free-kick early in the second half turned the match on its head. Korea shot themselves in the foot when substitute Kim Nam-Il brought down Chinedu Obasi inside the area midway through the second half. Ayegbeni Yakubu, having missed the easiest of tap-ins seconds earlier, made amends by restoring parity from the penalty spot. The outcome sealed second spot in the group for Korea and a second-round match against Uruguay on Saturday in Port Elizabeth. Argentina, who beat Greece 2-0, topped the pool.
South Korea enjoyed a strong start and almost took the lead after two minutes, but Bolton's Lee Chung-yong directed his close-range effort just wide of the far post. And it was Nigeria who took a surprise lead 10 minutes later. In their first purposeful attack, Chidi Odiah went on a superb run and crossed towards the heart of the area, where Uche beat Cha Du-ri to the ball and fired past Jung Sung-ryong.
The Koreans found the equaliser before the break when Ki Sung-yueng's free-kick towards the far post was met by Lee Jung-soo, whose first-time finish beat Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. Korea picked up where they left off after the interval and went ahead in the 48th minute. Park Chu-young's free-kick swerved towards the post and Enyeama failed to get a touch. Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback introduced Obafemi Martins to replace Kanu in the 56th minute in the hope he could spark his team to life. Nigeria should have pulled level seconds later after Uche set up an unmarked Yakubu, but he inexplicably tapped wide of an open goal from two yards - much to the horror of his team-mates. But Yakubu made amends soon after by firing a spot-kick past Jung Sung-ryong.
Everton FC hero Tony Cottee to reveal his private collection of career memorabilia in charity event at Maghull Town Hall
Jun 23 2010 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
FORMER Everton striker Tony Cottee will reveal his private collection of career memorabilia during a special charity event in Merseyside. The player turned Sky Sports pundit scored 99 goals while at Goodison Park, including six hat-tricks, and is remembered fondly on the Blue half of the city. Now Cottee, who also played for West Ham United and Leicester City, as well as winning seven England caps, is appearing at Maghull Town Hall with his mementoes – including the six match balls he was awarded during his time at Everton. Cottee, who will discuss his life in football, is appearing to help the Everton Collection Charitable Trust.
He will bring along every pay slip he has ever received, every contract and every programme from every game he played, along with the boots he wore when he scored his debut hat-trick against Newcastle United on August 27, 1988. The evening, next Tuesday will also include surprise guests plus comedian Mark Langley and a chicken in the basket supper. Limited tickets are on sale at £20 per person or tables of 10 are available for £200. VIP tables of 10 are available at £250, which includes a framed table photo with Tony Cottee. The evening will be videoed so here is your chance to be part of The Everton Collection and Tony Cottee footage. For more details ring Matty on 07963-397837, or Tony on 07542-916040.
Everton FC to move for Paris St Germain star Stephane Sessegnon
Jule 23 2010 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are considering a move for Paris St Germain midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. The Blues have been alerted by the Benin international's declaration that he wants to leave the French outfit this summer. Manager David Moyes went on a scouting mission to watch the 26-year-old last season and must now decide whether to follow up his interest with a bid. Reports in France suggest PSG will demand a fee of around £8million. “I want to move out of PSG,” Sessegnon said. “They know it, I know it.” Sessegnon, who has scored eight goals in 54 appearances for PSG, has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City among the clubs monitoring his progress. Last summer he reaffirmed his commitment to PSG by penning a new improved deal but last season proved disappointing for the club who could only finish 13th in Ligue One.
Now Sessegnon, who cost £6million from Le Mans in 2008, has decided the time is right to move on. Tottenham and Sunderland are also believed to be interested in a player who can play on the wing or just behind the striker. Meanwhile, Everton's Tim Cahill is on a mission to inspire Australia to victory when they face Serbia in the World Cup tonight. The Blues star returns for the Socceroos' final Group B match after missing their 1-1 draw with Ghana due to suspension following his red card against Germany. Australia need to win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16. “I have become a stronger and better person for that sending-off against Germany,” he said.“I disagreed with it but you have to get your head together and push on. “I am not a good watcher. I hardly got any sleep the night before the Ghana game thinking what if, what might have been. “We can do the business. We take any criticism on the chin. “We have had two difficult scenarios and two red cards. The way we can put it right is on the pitch. The chances we created with 10 men show how good we are. “We have to get on with it. We have another crack against Serbia.”
Cahill added: “I want to thank the Everton fans for their support during the World Cup. They know how much I love the club so it means a lot when they back me when I go away with Australia. “It was a really low point for me after the Germany game but to know the fans back at Everton were behind me meant a lot.”
Tim Cahill’s message of thanks for Everton FC fans
Jun 23 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post
TIM CAHILL has sent a heartfelt message from South Africa to thank Everton fans for supporting him at the World Cup. The Australian international was sent off in last week’s 4-0 defeat to Germany for a tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger, a moment he later described as ‘one of the saddest’ of his career. “I want to thank the Everton fans for their support during the World Cup,” said Cahill. “They know how much I love the club so it means a lot when they back me when I go away with Australia.
“It was a really low point for me after the Germany game but to know the fans back at Everton were behind me meant a lot.” Cahill was suspended for the 1-1 draw against Ghana on Saturday but is available for tonight’s final game of Group D against Serbia after FIFA ruled a one-match ban would suffice. Australia must beat Serbia to have any chance of reaching the last 16 while hoping group leaders Ghana beat Germany. That seems unlikely but Cahill uses England’s predicament against Slovenia today to highlight the high level of competition at the World Cup. He said: “We have another crack against Serbia. I think England are a great example to show how difficult it is. They’re one of the most expensive teams in the world and they’re struggling to win a game. I can’t imagine the amount of pressure they’re under. “England may well not go through but I’m not surprised. America’s a good team, Slovenia’s a good team. I think people need to be a bit more educated on how good the teams are who we are playing against. “I do hope England go through though. It’d be good to meet them but first we’ve got to beat Serbia.” Meanwhile, Phil Neville is hoping England can finally answer their critics in today’s crucial Group C match against Slovenia.
Draws against the USA and Algeria mean England must beat Slovenia today to be sure of reaching the last 16. The Everton captain believes the World Cup has now started to gather pace and is willing England to play their part in the latter stages.
“Over the last few days the World Cup has started to ignite,” said Neville. “Now we just need England to really light the fire because we want England to do well. It would be great for the country and the whole country is behind them. It is the first time I have been in England during a World Cup and to feel the patriotism is phenomenal.”
USA claim late winner to go through
Jun 23 2010 (Tim Howard plays for USA)
Landon Donovan struck an injury-time winner as the United States sensationally progressed through to the last 16 of the World Cup with a deserved 1-0 win over 10-man Algeria, who crash out. The United States dominated for large periods and created a host of chances but looked set to be denied by a mixture of the woodwork, good goalkeeping and poor finishing. However, Donovan popped up right at the end to slot into the net to send the Americans through as Group C winners ahead of England, who beat Slovenia 1-0 in the other game. The United States will now play the second-placed team from Group D, which includes Ghana, Germany, Serbia and Australia. It was Algeria who started brightly though and they almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Rafik Djebbour volleyed against the crossbar from 12 yards out. The US thought they had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Herculez Gomez, having seen his first effort saved, saw his cross-shot turned in at the far post by Clint Dempsey, however, the effort was chalked off for a marginal offside.
After a slow start, the US were starting to look increasingly dangerous and Jozy Altidore blazed horribly over after the influential Donovan had dinked the ball past Rais M'Bohli to set up a magnificent opening 10 minutes before half-time. The Americans should have scored after 56 minutes though as Dempsey, who was on the edge of the box, saw his shot rebound off the inside of the far post before the Fulham midfielder sliced the rebound wide with the goal gaping. Dempsey was just unable to slot home after a breakaway attack, but the ball fell kindly for Donovan who slotted into a gaping net from close range. That proved to be the winner and Algeria would end the game with 10 men when Anthar Yahia was dismissed soon after.
Everton eye £5m deal for Torino's Italian Under-21 defender Angelo Ogbonna
By Sportsmail Reporter
23rd June 2010 The Daily Mail
Everton are preparing a £5 million move for Italy Under-21 international Angelo Ogbonna. Goodison boss David Moyes watched the Torino centre-back last season and he sees the 22-year-old as an eventual successor to Joseph Yobo, who is likely to be sold this summer.
The Irish Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Yakubu miss helps Nigeria to flight home
GROUP B: NIGERIA 2 SOUTH KOREA 2: THIS HAS been a groundbreaking tournament for Africa but it has also been one laced with regret. Fresh on the heels of the hosts being knocked out, Nigeria were also eliminated in Durban, with South Korea navigating a route through Group B to qualify for the last 16. They will play Uruguay in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, leaving Nigeria to curse their second-half profligacy. Nigeria did, at least, leave their mark on this World Cup, although not in the way Yakubu Ayegbeni would have liked, the Everton striker winning hands down the award for miss-of-the-tournament by somehow shooting wide when presented with an open goal from three yards. Yakubu did make amends, partially, by scoring the penalty that levelled the match at 2-2, but it was a mistake that could wake him in a cold sweat for years to come. Argentina’s defeat of Greece meant a Nigeria win would have seen them qualify, and they will rue the way they could not build on Kalu Uche’s early goal. The breakthrough came after 12 minutes when Chidi Odiah, the right-back, accelerated along the flank, beating two men in the process, before sending a low cross into the penalty area. Cha Doo-ri, the South Korean defender, was in position to clear but, crucially, hesitated. Uche was far more decisive, darting in front of his opponent to sweep the ball in from 12 yards.Uche also struck the post with a 25-yard drive after 35 minutes, but the game was level with South Korea’s next attack. Ki Sung-yeung swung a free-kick into the penalty area and Lee Jung-soo stole in behind Rabiu Afolabi to prod the ball beyond goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
The Koreans took the lead four minutes into the second half when Park Chu-Young curled in a free-kick, but the game was levelled again after Kim Nam II’s clumsy challenge on Chinedu Ogbuke Osadi. From 12 yards Yakubu was a lot more accurate than he had been from three. Guardian Service
NIGERIA: Enyeama, Odiah, Yobo (Echiejile 46), Shittu, Afolabi, Yussuf, Etuhu, Obasi Ogbuke, Kanu (Martins 57), Uche, Yakubu (Obinna 70). Subs not used: Ejide, Taiwo, Utaka, Ideye, Odemwingie, Haruna, Adeleye, Aiyenugbu. Booked: Enyeama, Obasi Ogbuke, Yussuf. Goals: Uche 12, Yakubu 69 pen.
SOUTH KOREA: Jung, Cha, Cho, Jung-Soo Lee, Young-Pyo Lee, Chung-Yong Lee, Ki (Jae-Sung Kim 86), Jung-Woo Kim, Ji-Sung Park, Yeom (Nam-Il Kim 63), Chu-Young Park (Dong-Jin Kim 90). Subs not used: Woon-Jae Lee, Oh, Hyung-il Kim, Bo-Kyung Kim, Ahn, Seung-Youl Lee, Dong-Gook Lee, Kang, Young-Kwang Kim. Booked: Nam-Il Kim. Goals: Jung-Soo Lee 38, Chu-Young Park 49.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)
Everton FC book pre-friendly clash with German side Wolfsburg
Jan 24 2008 Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will complete their pre-season preparations with a friendly away to German outfit Wolfsburg. he Blues will travel to face the Bundesliga side at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday, August 7. Wolfsburg, who finished eighth in the league last season, are now managed by former England boss Steve McClaren, who took over last month after guiding FC Twente to the Dutch title. The trip to Germany will follow the Blues’ three-week tour of Australia and friendlies away to Preston and Norwich City as well as a clash with Everton Chile at Goodison on Wednesday, August 4. Meanwhile, Nigerian midfielder Dickson Etuhu has leapt to the defence of Everton striker Yakubu after their nation’s exit from the World Cup in South Africa.
Yakubu missed a glorious chance in their 2-2 draw with South Korea when victory would have secured their passage to the last 16. “You would have put your house on him to score that,” Etuhu said. “But everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. We had our chances but weren’t good enough to finish them and it’s over now.“Yakubu is a top striker, a great player and I love playing with him. It could have happened to anyone and it’s done now. “We had a lot of chances in this World Cup to get the points we needed but it was a case of almost and now we are out. “Everybody is down and there were a lot of people crying in the dressing room. We are a great nation with 150 million people behind us but we are out of the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Everton’s stewards have been voted the best in the top flight. In a fan survey carried out by the Premier League, 76% of Evertonians attending matches rated Goodison’s stewards as very good or good.
Tears of joy for USA hero and ex-Everton star Landon Donovan
Jun 24 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
UNITED States hero Landon Donovan wiped away the tears as he reflected on his last-gasp winner against Algeria, saying it made him believe there was “good in the world” following a difficult time for him personally. With England en route to victory over Slovenia in the other Group C match, both the US and opponents Algeria looked to be heading out of the World Cup as their game in Pretoria entered stoppage time with the scoreline still 0-0. However, Donovan popped up in the last few moments to slot home after the ball had rolled loose in the area when Algeria goalkeeper Rais M’Bohli dived at the feet of Clint Dempsey. That match-winning strike not only saw the United States secure a place in the last 16 but it also earned them top spot in the pool ahead of England. For an emotional Donovan, it meant even more. “I’ve been through a lot in the last four years,” the man of the match said as he broke down in tears during the post-game press conference. The Los Angeles Galaxy playmaker split up with his wife last July. “I’m so glad it culminated in this way and it makes me believe in good in the world and when you try to do things the right way it’s good to be rewarded.” Algeria exited the tournament without managing to score a goal in their three group games, although they had their chances and hit the crossbar early on through Rafik Djebbour. It was not to be for the north African side, but their coach Rabah Saadane was still proud of his team. “I think it was a really good match and the two teams have done well,” he said. “We’ve seen many attempts on goal from both teams, and with a bit more luck I think we would have won the match. “However, the Algerian team have worked very hard to get the right result in the second match and the last match. “I’m quite happy with the team. They (the USA) had the last chance to score the goal and they got it. “I want to congratulate the US team and wish them all the luck in the next stage.”
Everton FC to face German side VfL Wolfsburg in pre-season
Jun 24 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON will complete their pre-season preparations with a trip to Germany to play VfL Wolfsburg. The Toffees have announced details to face the Bundelsiga club at the 30,000-capacity Volkswagen Arena on Saturday 7 August, kick-off 5pm local time.
Wolfsburg recently announced former Middlesbrough and England manager, Steve McClaren as their new boss after finishing eighth in the league last season and being knocked out of the Europa League at the quarter-final stage by Fulham. The match will conclude a busy pre-season schedule for David Moyes’ team that includes a three-week tour of Australia and trips to Norwich and Preston North End, plus Everton Chile’s visit to Goodison Park. Meanwhile, Dickson Etuhu has defended Yakubu for missing an open goal as Nigeria exited the World Cup on Tuesday night.
Yakubu shot wide from five yards out before scoring a penalty that saw Nigeria draw 2-2 with South Korea in Durban. It was a glaring miss but Etuhu is refusing to blame the Everton striker after the Super Eagles finished bottom of Group B that saw Argentina and South Korea progress. "You would have put your house on him to score that," said Etuhu. "But everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.
“We had our chances but weren't good enough to finish them and it's over now."
Etuhu was full of praise for Yakubu, who has been linked with a move to West Ham this summer. "He is a top striker, a great player and I love playing with him.
“It could have happened to anyone and it's done now. "We had a lot of chances in this World Cup to get the points we needed but it was a case of 'almost, almost' and now we are out."
Win not enough for Australia
Jun 23 2010 (Tim Cahill played for Australia)
Australia ended their World Cup on a high with two second-half goals in a 2-1 victory over Serbia but Germany's defeat of Ghana meant neither side would go though to the last 16 of the World Cup. Tim Cahill and Brett Holman scored for Australia deep into the second period before Marko Pantelic hauled Serbia back into their final Group D game in Nelspruit. Australia's effort dragged them off the bottom of the group but it was too little too late as Ghana edged them out of the last 16 on goal difference.
Serbia had the first opportunity when Milos Krasic, booed by Australia's sizeable following after a tumble in the box moments earlier, burst into the box and fired at Mark Schwarzer from a tight angle. Australia were struggling to handle the speed of the Serbian attacks and were grateful when Schwarzer stuck out an arm to deny Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic from inside the six-yard box. Australia were limited to firing in crosses from deep but it was 32 minutes before Serbia failed to deal with one and Cahill headed his side's first good chance wide. Australia began the second period with more purpose and won a free-kick after Cahill tangled with Nemanja Vidic. Marco Bresciano drilled the set-piece in low but Nikola Zigic was back to clear.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic headed a good chance wide for Serbia but the eastern Europeans were starting to look concerned and they paid the price for their earlier profligacy as Luke Wilkshire picked out Cahill with a superb cross in the 69th minute - and the Everton star headed powerfully home in familiar fashion. Serbia were rattled and Australia began to sense an unlikely opportunity as substitute Holman broke forward four minutes later and unleashed a ferocious shot that flew past Vladimir Stojkovic from 30 yards. Serbia grabbed a lifeline six minutes from time as Schwarzer spilled a long-range Zoran Tosic shot and fellow substitute Pantelic pounced from close range. That allowed them to regain their composure and they created one last gilt-edged chance but Pantelic was unable to convert.
Everton ready bid for PSG midfielder
David Mopyes is poised to make a move for Paris St Germain midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. The Everton boss been alerted by the Benin international’s declaration that he wants to leave the French outfit this summer. Moyes went on a scouting mission to watch the 26-year-old last season and must now decide whether to follow up his interest with a bid. PSG will demand a fee of around £8m but Moyes is hoping to lure him to Goodison Park for around £6m. Sessegnon has been linked with moves to Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea in the past and is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Europe. He signed a new and improved deal with PSG last season but endured a difficult campaign and has decided he wants to move on.
He said: “I want to move out of PSG. They know it and I know it.” Moyes could now test the water with a bid but might face competition for his signature from top flight rivals Sunderland, and Tottenham, who are also keeping close tabs on the situation.
Everton FC keeper Tim Howard is living the World Cup dream with USA
June 25 2010 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON goalkeeper Tim Howard admits he's living the dream after helping USA into the last 16 of the World Cup. Howard has been in fine form in South Africa and shone in Wednesday's dramatic 1-0 victory over Algeria which ensured they progressed from Group C as winners above England. Now the 31-year-old shot-stopper is preparing for tomorrow night's second round clash with Ghana.
“We persevered and we were resilient,” said Howard. “Fighting, scrapping – there’s something to be said for it and I think it’s part of our foundation as a team.
“You get a sense of pride when you work so hard with guys, you sweat with them, you're in everything together and then you put in a performance like that.”
Howard also paid tribute to USA hero Landon Donovan, who enjoyed a successful loan spell alongside him at Goodison last season. The Americans were heading out before Donovan struck an injury-time winner against Algeria. “Landon knows me very well, he knows when I get the ball that if he pulls wide I’ll try to find him,” Howard added. “Even though I didn’t score the goal I felt like I was right there with Landon and I think everyone felt that way. “As far as Landon goes, he's a big player and I think on big occasions your big players come through and he did that.”
Meanwhile, there was World Cup delight for Blues duo John Heitinga and Jan Mucha yesterday. Holland defender Heitinga helped the Dutch win Group E courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Cameroon. Goalkeeper Mucha, who will arrive at Goodison this summer after his contract with Legia Warsaw expires, enjoyed an eventful afternoon as Slovakia beat Italy 3-2 to book their place in the last 16. Slovakia and Holland will now clash in the second round on Monday.
Landon Donovan’s Everton spell is secret of American success
June 25 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post
USA World Cup hero Landon Donovan has become a better player for his time at Everton. That is the opinion of LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, who says the MLS club and the USA are now reaping the rewards of Donovan’s three-month loan spell at Goodison Park. Donovan contributed to Everton’s resurgence last season after joining the club in January. A successful stint on Merseyside saw him score against Sunderland and Hull while figuring in wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Man United. The winger has gone from strength to strength and followed up his goal against Slovenia in South Africa last week with a last gasp winner against Algeria on Wednesday that saw the USA top Group C ahead of England. Arena is delighted with the transformation in Donovan and recently passed a message to club captain Phil Neville when the pair met in Los Angeles where Neville was continuing his rehabilitation from knee surgery. “Bruce Arena took me round for a tour and the first thing he said was thanks for what you did for Landon because he came back from Everton a different player,” said Neville. “I think that was probably the biggest step in Landon’s career and we have played a massive part in that. “I know Landon was really pleased with his time at Everton and he knew he’d made the right decision to come over. “But to hear from the staff at LA Galaxy that we helped Landon, and to hear that it wasn’t just the stuff we did with him on the pitch – they mentioned how we treated him and the way he was accepted. That is something Landon’s not had at any other club he’s been to.”
Van Marwijk to wait on Robben
Jun 25 2010 (Johnny Heiteger played for Holland)
Holland coach Bert van Marwijk will treat Arjen Robben with caution ahead of Monday's last-16 clash with Slovakia after the winger made his first appearance in the World Cup. Bayern Munich's Robben had been sidelined with a hamstring problem but came on as a substitute in Cape Town on Thursday night and hit the post to set up Klaas Jan Huntelaar's winner in his side's 2-1 win over Cameroon in their Group E dead rubber. Van Marwijk said: "The idea is to build him up slowly and gradually. I'm really pleased he was able to play for 20 minutes and nothing happened, he didn't get injured." He added: "But there are three more training sessions and he will be growing step-by-step. I take it he'll be able to play in the next match but I don't know if he will be part of the first XI." Holland made it three wins from as many Group E matches with victory over Cameroon. With the Oranje already through to the last 16 and Cameroon out, it took Robin van Persie's 36th-minute flash of inspiration to get things going at Green Point Stadium. Samuel Eto'o's second-half penalty levelled matters until substitute Huntelaar's 83rd-minute winner continued the group winners' momentum heading into a last-16 clash with Slovakia. After the game Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen confirmed he will leave his post when his contract runs out this summer. "My contract was coming up and it's the end of this mission," said the Frenchman. "It was planned to be this way. I'm going to think about the future now, and we'll see."
Moyes is an Ireland fan
By MARTIN BLACKBURN
June 25 2010 The Sun
EVERTON boss David Moyes is keen on Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland.
The 23-year-old told City boss Roberto Mancini last season he wanted to move away from Eastlands. Ireland stopped short of handing in a transfer request but had become frustrated at the lack of first-team chances. And with City linked with David Silva, Yaya Toure and James Milner, Ireland hopes an £8million bid from the Toffees will be enough for a fresh start
ROYAL BLUE: The day Arsenal missed out on Tim Howard
June 26 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
“SACRE BLEU!” It’s enough to make Arsene Wenger turn the air Bleu!
Legendary Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson has revealed that he had Wenger cast his eye over Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard before the American moved to Manchester United in 2003. But that the Gunners medical team felt the player’s Tourette’s Syndrome could hinder his performance! Wenger went for Richard Wright instead. How that impacted on Wenger’s unexpected outbursts is unrecorded, but Howard has thrived. Wilson explained: “Arsene has somebody in every country and then he sends out the guys from England, particularly Steve Rowley, to go and watch specific targets. “Funnily enough I did once put Arsenal on to a guy. I received an email from a friend in America who said he’d found a goalie called Tim Howard. He stressed we'd have to be careful though because he suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and it's true he does have a really bad twitch. “Arsenal were informed but didn’t follow it up as they felt the medical thing was always going to be a problem. It’s highly debatable now when you see how well he has done at Everton.” Debatable indeed, especially given Arsenal’s goalkeeping problems last season!
ROYAL BLUE: Tony Cottee to show off his Everton FC collection
June 26 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FOR those who missed our midweek story, Tony Cottee will reveal his private collection of career memorabilia during a special charity event in Merseyside on Tuesday. TC is appearing at Maghull Town Hall with the six match balls he was awarded during his time at Everton, every pay slip he has ever received, every contract and every programme from every game he played – plus much, much more.
Limited tickets are on sale at £20 per person. Cottee is appearing to help the Everton Collection Charitable Trust. For more details ring Matty on 07963-397837, or Tony on 07542-916040.
ROYAL BLUE: Yakubu ready to bounce back from World Cup howler for Everton FC
June 26 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ROYAL BLUE: Yakubu ready to bounce back from World Cup howler for Everton
SO much for the striker’s union sticking together. “I reckon that’s the worst miss I’ve ever seen,” sniggered Alan Shearer after Yakubu managed to sidefoot wide of South Korea’s gaping, open goal from inside the six-yard box this week. Retired referee Bolaji Okubule was more colourful. Nigerian newspaper ‘The Daily Sun’ ended an interview with the striker on Thursday with the following splendid sentence: “Retired FIFA badged referee, Bolaji Okubule, who was totally pissed off with the miss, told Daily Sunsports that his wife would have scored in that situation.” No matter how badly you rated the miss – and it was a shocker – it opened up a debate once again about the Nigerian’s merits, or otherwise, to Everton football club. The striker has been widely linked with a move to West Ham this summer, and the Toffeeweb site asked last week ‘Should David Moyes be looking to keep Yakubu?’ Fans are split.
From a total of 3,291 respondents, 52 per cent said: “Yes, scores goals for fun when fully fit”, while 48 per cent replied: “No, not the same player since his long lay-off.”
The question is largely immaterial, because David Moyes has made it clear that he wants to keep the 27-year-old at Goodison. And Yakubu himself suggested in the wake of his South African howler last week that he wants to stick around.
Speaking like a man from a Pathe news clip, Yakubu said: “I must confess that I feel disappointed in myself for not scoring when I had only the net to beat in the game against Korea. “But the truth is that it happens always in football. You can come very close and yet fail to score. I hope Nigerians will appreciate this fact and forgive me. I came here to score goals, but sometimes things don’t go one’s way no matter how hard you try. “The World Cup is over for us. What we need do now is to put it behind us and plan for the future.” Yak, who told The Daily Sun he is not going to quit Everton since he has another two-year contract, said he was prepared to keep fighting for a place in the new Super Eagles. even as he faulted those calling for his head.
“As far as I am concerned, I have always done my best for the country. In Angola, I did my best. I may not have scored goals, but I know the coaches would not have been using me if I was not in good shape.” Yakubu is not the only one Evertonian to have missed an easy chance. At least, though, his wasn’t in a blue shirt. These others can’t say the same, sadly.
Here is a key to our Top 10.
1. Mickey Walsh – Not the only chance the hapless forward missed during his ill-fated spell at Everton, but easily the worst. It was a first v second clash at the City Ground in 1978 when Bob Latchford got to the byline and crossed for Walsh, standing almost under the crossbar. The ball flew over and the match finished 0-0.
2. Mick Madar – Fortunately for the frenetic Frenchman the derby clash finished all-square, because his shot wide of an empty Kop goal in 1998 was woeful.
3. Graeme Sharp – Like Madar, Sharpy got out of jail when Gary Stevens scored a deflected 20-yard winner, otherwise his poke wide of a deserted Kop goal would still be talked about now (rather than just written about in columns like this).
4. Barry Horne – Sidefooted wide from six yards at Stamford Bridge in Joe Royle’s second match in charge. “I was trying to make it interesting,” he said after Everton had clung on to a 1-0 win.
5. Graham Stuart – He could have been the hero. He could have had his name inscribed in the record books. He could have won the FA Cup as well as being a relegation saviour. Instead he hit the crossbar and Paul Rideout claimed the Wembley glory. It was in the days of the pristine Wembley pitch, too, so he couldn’t even blame a bobble.
6. Landon Donovan – A close range howler at White Hart Lane. One of the few things the American got wrong during his Goodison loan spell . . . and how.
7. Stuart Barlow – He scored a screamer four days later against Ipswich, but that didn’t make up for the hat-trick of howlers he missed at Anfield, especially when Ronny Rosenthal (no stranger to missing sitters himself) scored a last-minute winner.
8. Dixie Dean – Yes, even the greatest missed the odd sitter. “Oh what a chance to talk about for all your days!” screamed the Chumley Warner commentator. Dean still scored later on, mind, and Everton still lifted the FA Cup.
9. Joe Harper – Missed from the penalty spot on his Everton debut and never recovered.
10. Howard Kendall – Another to miss a sitter on his debut, but boy did he bounce back!
TOP 10 EVERTON MISSES
1. Mickey Walsh at Nottingham Forest – 1979.
2. Mickael Madar v Liverpool – 1998.
3. Graeme Sharp v Liverpool – 1987.
4. Barry Horne v Chelsea – 1994.
5. Graham Stuart at Wembley – 1995.
6. Landon Donovan v Spurs – 2010.
7. Stuart Barlow at Anfield – 1993.
8. Dixie Dean at Wembley – 1933.
9. Joe Harper v Spurs 1972.
10. Howard Kendall v Southampton 1967.
I won’t quit the Socceroos, says Everton FC and Australia star Tim Cahill
June 26 2010 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON midfielder Tim Cahill has dismissed suggestions he might retire from international football. Australia bowed out of the World Cup at the group stage despite beating Serbia 2-1 in their final match. Cahill claimed the man of the match award after scoring his 21st goal in 42 appearances for his country. Several senior players, including Craig Moore and Scott Chipperfield, are expected to call it a day but the 30-year-old insists he won’t be one of them. “I’m a very proud Australian,” he said. “I have played a lot of games for this country and put my body on the line and I give everything. I’ll keep playing for as long as I can. The only thing that will stop me is serious injury.” Cahill underlined his impressive aerial ability when he out-jumped Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic to head home the Socceroos’ opening goal against Serbia. Although their victory was in vain, it was a positive end to a tournament which started with agony for Cahill following his harsh sending off in their 4-0 defeat to Germany. Cahill was at his inspirational best on his return to the side after missing the 1-1 draw with Ghana due to suspension. “We deserved that win, we came back in the Ghana game and showed our spirit,” Cahill said. “We’re a great group of lads that really care for each other. I’m just proud to be part of this team.
“Four points in a competition like this is exceptional, and we won our last game against a very good team. We were very unlucky not to go through.” Cahill believes he was harshly treated against Germany but insists he will be a better player for the experience. “To be sent off in such a big game has made me stronger as a person and as a footballer,” he said. “As long as I am being a good example to kids by walking off and taking it on the chin then that is the main thing. The only way you can reply to setbacks like that is on the football pitch and it’s the way you reply that counts.”
John Heitinga warns new Everton FC team-mate Jan Mucha about class of Arjen Robben
June 26 2010 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
JOHN HEITINGA has warned his new Everton team-mate Jan Mucha to expect a busy afternoon when Holland meet Slovakia in the second round of the World Cup.
The Dutch won Group E in style and the Blues defender played every minute of their three victories against Denmark, Japan and Cameroon. Now Heitinga is in high spirits ahead of Monday afternoon’s showdown in Durban. His optimism is fuelled by the return to fitness of Arjen Robben, who impressed when he came off the bench against Cameroon on Thursday night. The Bayern Munich winger had been sidelined with a hamstring problem but made an instant impact with a shot against the post which set up the chance for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to seal a 2-1 win. “Arjen’s quality is there for all to see,” Heitinga said. “He’s come on and proved he can find a way through any defence. “I’m really pleased we’re playing in Durban again, it’s a fantastic stadium.”
Holland manager Bert van Marwijk has vowed not to rush Robben back into his starting line up. He said: “Of course we’re incredibly pleased to see that he can be so valuable to us. He was able to play for 20 minutes and everybody can see how important he’s turned out to be for us. “The idea is to build him up slowly and gradually. I’m really pleased he was able to play for 20 minutes and nothing happened, he didn’t get injured. But there are three more training sessions and he will be growing step by step.” Heitinga is likely to be sporting a beard for the clash with Mucha, who has signed a pre-contract deal with Everton to make the switch to Goodison from Legia Warsaw on July 1. The 26-year-old is one of five Dutch players who have made a pact not to shave for as long as they are in the World Cup.
However, team-mate Khalid Boulahrouz has already dropped out after claiming: “It was beginning to itch.” Mucha’s team-mates have warned the Dutch they mean business after their stunning 3-2 victory over Italy booked their place in the last 16.
Striker Robert Vittek, who scored twice against the Italians, plays his club football in Turkey with Ankaragucu. He said: “We have really moved the limits of Slovak football somewhere else. “We are so extremely happy that we showed everybody that we were capable of achieving this. “In our first two matches we were not lucky but against Italy we were the better side and that’s why we are moving on. I wouldn’t say it was a domination, but we were better, we played with our heart and that is what decided the match.” The striker believes his side will play with total freedom against Holland. “We have nothing to lose,” he added. “We came here as outsiders, as newcomers, and we wanted to surprise. We hope we can do the same again against Holland, but they are one of the favourites.”
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov wants Everton FC to carry fine form into new season
Jun 26 2010 David Randles
DINIYAR BILYALETDINOV wants Everton to pick up next season from where they left the last. The Russian winger scored a sensational late winner to sink already relegated Portsmouth on the final day of the 2009/10 campaign. That win completed a Premier League club record 12-game unbeaten run, surpassing an 11-match streak put together by Howard Kendall’s reigning champions from December 1985 to March 1986. Following an injury-ravaged start to the season that saw David Moyes’ side precariously placed in the lower reaches of the table, Everton lost just two of their last 24 Premier League games. It was an incredible turnaround aided by the return from injury of the likes of Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta. In addition, Everton were lauded for playing some eyecatching football. With everyone fit, Bilyaletdinov is confident the Blues can reproduce the same kind of form. “The second part of last season was really good for us but the first half was not so good because of all the injuries we had,” he said. “That affected us. We played well in some games but in others we didn’t have enough players available to do as well as we normally would, to take more points. “Of course, the second part was much better than the first because we got some of our better players back from injury. “Take Mikel Arteta for example. He is a central midfielder who helps us play well with his passing from the middle of the pitch. “Our style of play was different in the second half of the season.” No sooner did Arteta announce his comeback against Birmingham in January than Marouane Fellaini’s season was cruelly ended just two games later in the Merseyside derby.
Fellaini had been enjoying his best form for Everton up until that point. Bilyaletdinov says the Belgian midfielder was another huge loss and stresses the importance of starting the forthcoming season with everyone fit. “We had our injury problems in the first half of the season but also lost Fellaini in the second half to a bad injury,” said the 25-year-old. “He had been playing well before that. Hopefully we can get him and everyone back at once and show what we can do next season.” Meanwhile, Kanu has pointed the finger of blame at Yakubu for missing ‘the easiest chance to score a goal’ in Nigeria’s Group B decider against South Korea on Tuesday night.
The Everton striker somehow fired wide of an open goal from five yards out shortly before making it 2-2 from the penalty spot. That’s how it finished, leaving the Super Eagles bottom of the group and on their way home. Had they beaten South Korea, however, Nigeria would have qualified for the last 16 and Kanu is rueful of Yakubu’s miss. “As a striker I think that’s the easiest one to score, so if you miss it then I don’t know what you will do,” said the Portsmouth player. “If we didn’t create the chances we’d complain, but in fact we made them but didn’t take them. “The fact is that we played South Korea, a very good team who worked very hard, and we didn’t take our chances.” Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard will be aiming for a place in the quarter-finals in South Africa tonight. The USA face Ghana in Rustenburg (7.30pm kick-off) with a place in the last eight up for grabs against either Uruguay or South Korea who play this afternoon (3pm).
Gyan fires Ghana into last eight
Jun 26 2010
Asamoah Gyan kept the African flag flying at the World Cup with a superb left-foot strike in extra-time as Ghana overcame the United States 2-1 to reach their first quarter-final. It was the second time in successive World Cups that Ghana had defeated the United States, having effectively dumped them out of the tournament four years ago by beating them in the final group game. Gyan's goal, after 93 minutes, was worthy of winning any game after he outmuscled USA captain Carlos Bocanegra to blast his shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard. It settled a contest that was level at full-time after Landon Donovan's second-half penalty cancelled out a fifth-minute strike from Kevin-Prince Boateng. It was just reward for Ghana's talent and power in a dramatic encounter at the Royal Bafokeng stadium and the sole surviving African nation must now fancy their chances of creating an even bigger ripple at this tournament, with Uruguay awaiting them in the last-eight. The Black Stars made a stunning start when Portsmouth's Boateng picked up the ball just inside his own half, slalomed past three defenders and drove an early left-foot shot past Howard. The Americans could have equalised after 35 minutes when Robbie Findley raced clear only to see his right-foot shot smartly saved by goalkeeper Richard Kingson. The USA came out after half-time, however, with a more determined, more attacking attitude and the excellent Kingson was straight into the action, forced to pull off a splendid save from Benny Feilhaber. With Fulham's Clint Dempsey at the heart of their good work the Americans surged forward and they received their reward after 62 minutes. Dempsey was the architect, weaving his way through the Ghana defence into the penalty area where he drew the challenge and was brought down by defender Jonathan Mensah. Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai pointed to the spot and Los Angeles Galaxy's Donovan stepped up to slide home his third goal in four matches. The USA had their chances to win as Jozy Altidore might have done better when clear after 80 minutes but he spooned his effort wide under pressure from a defender.
So to a frantic extra-time and Gyan's stunning strike which sent the USA home and Ghana into ecstasy.
TOFFEES WANT TO BRING DONOVAN BACK
By Alex Shaw, 26/06/2010 (News of the World)
EVERTON are weighing up a move to bring USA World Cup hero Landon Donovan back to Goodison Park.
The American forward scored an injury-time winner against Algeria to send USA into the last 16 in South Africa. And Donovan, who scored twice in a three-month loan spell at Everton last season, is back on David Moyes' radar, with the Scot hoping to seal a permanent deal for the 28-year-old. Moyes wanted to keep Donovan for longer but LA Galaxy ruled out a move - although the Toffees boss is determined to get him again. Donovan became a fans' favourite on Merseyside when he moved there last January and claimed he would be open to joining Everton again. MLS side LA Galaxy are determined to keep hold of Donovan again and if Moyes can't persuade them to let him go permanently, he will ask for a loan deal similar to the one arranged last season. An insider at Goodison said: "The manager was really impressed with Landon and tried to keep him at the club. "There's always a chance of him coming back but it's a question of what LA Galaxy want."
Let me go home! Mikel Arteta stuns Everton boss David Moyes with move request
Daily Mail 27th June 2010
Mikel Arteta has rocked Everton boss David Moyes' plans for next season after telling the Scot he wants to return to Spain. The midfielder and his wife, Lorena, have been told their one-year-old son Gabriel is partially sighted. And now the couple plan to return to Spain in order to be closer to their families for the sake of their son. I want to go home: Mikel Arteta is eager for a move back to Spain It is understood, Arteta's agent has already sounded out La Liga clubs about possible moves for the £12m-rated star. The news will come as a major blow to Moyes who views the stylish Arteta as vital to his plans for next season. Arsenal and Aston Villa are also interested in Arteta - but his future now looks in Spain
Everton lead the pack chasing teenage star
DAVID SYGALL , June 27, 2010 (Sydney Morning Herald)
TEENAGE prodigy Terry Antonis has trained with David Beckham, idolises Zinedine Zidane, supports Real Madrid and has been courted by Marseille and Inter Milan - but he could be playing for Everton soon. Antonis, 17, is one of several talented young Australians being chased by overseas clubs, although he will probably have to wait to sign a contract, as FIFA regulations stipulate players must be 18 to transfer internationally. The Sun-Herald understands Everton - who begin a week-long tour to Australia next Saturday - is a frontrunner to secure Antonis's signature. Antonis, who grew up in Sydney's south-west, has had some incredible football experiences already. When he was 10 he entered a video in a worldwide competition to train with Beckham in Madrid for a coaching DVD. The family has also visited France as guests of Marseille.
Everton FC to make new Bellefield training ground homes plan
Jun 27 2010 David Bartlett
EVERTON FC will make a second bid to build luxury homes on its former Bellefield training ground. The club launched a public consultation exercise at the weekend with residents in West Derby about building 82 homes on the site - six more than last time round. In 2008 Liverpool council blocked the club’s plans to develop the site after some 220 residents objected to the proposals. They were mainly concerned about increased traffic, extra pressure on local schools, doctors and dentists, and the loss of open space. The club appealed against the decision but the case was dismissed.
The inspector said there was nothing to suggest the plans would have a detrimental effect on the living conditions of residents by virtue of the increased traffic movements. But she also examined the principle of residential development having regard to loss of green space, housing and land supply matters, and its effect on the Housing Market Renewal Initiative.But the new coalition government has indicated it plans to rip up the Regional Spatial Strategy, which could give new hope to the football club. Everton has switched from using David Wilson Homes for the development to Bellway Homes for the scheme. Head of communications at Everton Ian Ross said: “We are committed to developing Bellefield and realising its value for the club. However we’ve been a neighbour in West Derby for many years and it’s important to us that we take on board the views of local people. “Feedback from residents and local representatives will be taken into account before we finalise these plans and submit them for approval.” A new website – www.bellefield.co.uk – has gone live so residents can see the latest updates and submit feedback. In 2007 Everton moved to its new training ground at Finch Farm in Halewood, freeing up the 8.9-acre Bellefield site for housing. There is a second public meeting at 98 Sandfield Road, next to the Bellefield entrance, on Tuesday from 3pm to 8pm.
Everton FC out to avoid bidding war for star midfielder Mikel Arteta
Jun 28 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are battling to avoid another Joleon Lescott-style transfer saga this summer – after Mikel Arteta’s name emerged as a possible shock departure.
Reports yesterday claimed that Arteta had told manager David Moyes he wanted to return to Spain after his one-year-old son had been diagnosed as partially sighted.
Both Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright refuted that claim last night, but there are fears that the influential midfielder is unsettled. Kenwright said last night: “It is true that David and myself have spoken to Mikel on a couple of occasions this summer and tried to persuade him his future lies with us. “We earnestly believe that is still the case. The health of Gabriel has never been mentioned in these discussions.” That the Blues’ chairman feels he has to “persuade” Arteta that his future lies with the club, however, suggests a problem. Arteta is due to travel with the Blues Down Under on Friday when the squad leaves for a pre-season tour of Australia – and he is still expected to board the plane for the three-week trip. But with the player still uncommitted to a new deal there are genuine fears that the Blues’ pre-season preparations could be disrupted by the same kind of saga which accompanied Lescott’s switch to Manchester City last August. Blues officials were keen to emphasise that they do not see Arteta in the same light as the defender who left Goodison under a cloud. Arteta is widely admired and respected inside the club and has captained the first team on several occasions. There have been no official approaches for the player, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has long been an admirer and Arteta would offer an ideal replacement should Cesc Fabregas get his wish to join Barcelona. The Blues are still optimistic they can retain the services of a player who made a successful return from cruciate knee ligament damage last season – and who still has two years remaining on his present contract. But David Moyes will want a firm commitment before the pre-season programme gets underway to avoid a repeat of the damaging backdrop to last summer’s pre-season.
USA World Cup dream dies for Everton FC keeper Tim Howard
June 28th 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON goalkeeper Tim Howard has bemoaned the USA’s World Cup exit, claiming it was a wasted chance. The Americans had topped Group C ahead of England in South Africa and were given backing by many pundits to make it through to at least the last four of the competition. However in Rustenburg over the weekend, Howard and his team-mates came unstuck against last remaining African hope Ghana, losing 2-1 after extra time. Howard said: “It was certainly a missed opportunity because we felt like we were in the game and at times we were the better team.
“But that means nothing because they put in the performance that won the game.
“We were on the front foot, I felt like we were on the ascendency when we got the goal. "We got a few chances and really pinned them back in the second half which we knew we would. It was just a bridge too far for us. We can’t keep producing these magical moments because you just run out of gas.” Despite the 2010 departure, Howard remains upbeat about the USA’s prospects in future tournaments after they defied the odds and beat England to pole position in their qualifying group.
However the 31-year-old insists his national side must become much meaner in defence if they are the realise their potential. “I think we’ve gotten better,” he said.
“I think that has shown in the last month and certainly in the last year with the Confederations Cup. We’ve gotten better but still have a long way to go. “I think it’s about seizing the opportunity when we get it. We had good opportunities, we felt like, in all the games. We were certainly right in the thick of it and I think that’s the next level for US soccer. “We need to get to the point where we can start dictating the tempo and telling other teams to get on our playing field.”
Australia tour could prove a home from home for Everton FC
Jun 29 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
Everton's Sandy Brown and Roy Vernon after arriving in Australia in 1964 460
EVERTON will arrive in Australia later this week to discover they have long been on the map there. While previous trips in 1964 and 1987 may have gone some way to boosting the club’s profile Down Under, Everton was already a familiar name in various parts of the country. If Queensland had been added to the latest travel itinerary David Moyes and his squad could have stayed at the Everton Park Hotel in Everton Park, a suburb next to Everton Hills. As it happens, the Blues will spend most of their time along the south east coast where the southern state of Victoria also boasts an Everton and Upper Everton. The closest the Toffees will come to these, however, will be a three-hour drive away when they touch down in Melbourne for the second of a three-game tour of the country. With the intention of making a name in their own right, Everton will meet Sydney FC at the ANZ Stadium on 10 July, A-League newcomers Melbourne Heart at the Etihad Stadium on 14 July and Brisbane Roar on 17 July at the Suncorp Stadium. The sternest test is likely to come in the opening game from the Hyundai A-League champions. Sydney FC will also have a familiar face among their ranks having invited former Aston Villa and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke to take part in the exhibition match. Yorke was part of the Sydney FC team that won the inaugural A-League title in 2005 and is looking forward to stepping out for the club one last time against old team-mates Phil Neville and Louis Saha. “I had a fantastic time with the club and the other lads in the team and, of course, Sydney is a fantastic city,” said Yorke, who spent a season in Australia before joining Sunderland. “It’s a great thrill to play for Sydney again and to have a chance to say farewell to all of Sydney’s fantastic fans and supporters. “It will be a terrific game against Everton. “I’ve seen their squad list for the tour. In addition to Aussie favourite Timmy Cahill, it includes my good friend Phil Neville and others such as Louis Saha, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, who only just missed England selection for this year’s World Cup.” A-League clubs are currently stepping up their own pre-season preparations ahead of the 2010/11 campaign and Sydney view Everton’s visit as a huge boost to their schedule. “The pre-season is a very important part of football. We are excited to play against Everton in Sydney,” said coach Vitezslav Lavicka.
“This will help us be ready for the A-League season and will be a good experience as we have many young players.” Sydney CEO, Edwin Lugt also highlighted Cahill as a big draw for Australian football supporters. “This is an exciting opportunity for football fans in Sydney to see the A-League champions take on one of the English Premier League’s leading teams and one that is headlined by Australian Tim Cahill,” said Lugt. “The fixture at ANZ Stadium forms an important part of our pre-season campaign and we expect to continue the success we had last season here against Everton.” Cahill has replaced Harry Kewell as Australia’s highest profile player and is desperate to figure for Everton on home soil. Prior to the World Cup, Cahill confirmed he will play in the games against Melbourne and Sydney, subject to his commitments in South Africa. The Socceroos’ early exit last week means Cahill is now likely to be involved on the tour, although Moyes will want to ensure the player has had a decent rest first. “It’s a dream for me that my club, Everton, is visiting my country as part of the pre-season preparations for the next Premier League season,” said Cahill. “It’s massive. It’s non-stop football and it’s great for fans, and great for the A-League too.” Everton’s other World Cup players will not travel to Australia, however. While Johnny Heitinga is still involved with Holland in South Africa, Yakubu, Joseph Yobo, Steven Pienaar, Tim Howard and Jan Mucha have all seen their respective countries drop out of the tournament and will now take a break before joining the rest of the squad at Finch Farm on its return from Australia.
Everton FC close to landing French under-21 international Magaye Gueye
Jun 29 2010 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON today confirmed they are close to landing French under-21 international Magaye Gueye from Strasbourg. The left-footed 19-year-old can play up front or in midfield and scored nine goals in just 17 league starts in Ligue 2 last season.
His goals did not prevent the French club from being relegated to the third tier of French football, allowing Everton to come in with a bid in excess of £1m for the teenager. The deal has not been finalised yet, but the Blues hope to complete the transfer before they leave for their tour of Australia later this week.
With Jermaine Beckford, Jan Mucha and Joao Silva already signed during the summer, this latest bid confirms the Blues’ policy of adding promising youngsters to their senior squad. Gueye attracted English scouts when he scored for France against England at last summer’s European Under-19 Championship semi-final in Donetsk.
Since then Gueye has won an under-21 cap against Slovenia. Sunderland, Birmingham and Bolton, along with French Champions League regulars Lyon, have all been linked with a move for the youngster. But Everton are now close to sealing the switch. The Blues, meanwhile, will reveal their new 2010/11 home kit tomorrow – to be modelled by two Goodison heroes 90 years apart! Current star Jack Rodwell will don the new strip, while the famous Dixie Dean statue will also bear the new kit.
The celebrations for the new strip reveal kick off at 6pm on Wednesday at the statue, with Radio City DJ and Everton matchday announcer Simon Ross hosting the event.
Fans are being invited to come along to see the new kit reveal and get the chance to be amongst the first to order the new Everton home strip. Among them will be four generations of the Kenny family, who won the Echo’s exclusive competition to win a Blues home shirt from each generation in their family. For those who can’t make it along to the statue, Thursday’s Echo will carry images of the new strip.
Everton FC defender Phil Jagielka relishing Australia trip
June 29 2010 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
PHIL JAGIELKA has declared his excitement ahead of Everton’s groundbreaking trip to Australia. The Goodison Park outfit jet off on Thursday for a three-week stint Down Under which will see them kick-start their pre-season preparations.
David Moyes’ men will become only the third Everton outfit to have visited Australia after club trips in 1964 and 1987 – and Jagielka is brimming with anticipation as the tour nears. Jagielka, 27, was part of the Everton squad who travelled to America in 2007 to play Real Salt Lake and in 2008 to take on Chicago Fire and Colorado Rapids, but missed last summer’s trip to the USA as he recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. But fit for the tour of Australia, Jagielka says he is relishing playing football in a new environment. “I am looking forward to it,” said the former Sheffield United defender. “Obviously the travelling will seem very long but I have never been to Australia before. “We have been to America quite a few times and that was top notch, so why not go a couple hours more to Australia? “I get told by Tim Cahill all the time that the facilities are amazing and the country is amazing so it will be nice to go over there and sample it. “I think the flight will be more sleeping instead of chatting. I think we will be spoilt, so we are looking forward to it.”
Everton will play three matches whilst Down Under, taking on Sydney FC on Saturday, July 10, Melbourne Heat on Wednesday, July 14 and Brisbane Roar on Saturday, July 17. Meanwhile, Everton have been strongly linked with an exciting French striker. Reports have claimed 19-year-old Strasbourg forward Magaye Gueye is the subject of a bid of just under £1 million from Moyes’ men. Premier League rivals Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and Birmingham City are all said to be showing interest in the France under-21 international.
Please don't go! Everton chief Bill Kenwright pleads with Mikel Arteta to stay at Goodison Park
June 29 2010 Dail Mail
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has admitted pleading with Mikel Arteta to stay at Goodison Park. Arsenal and Manchester City are both admirers of the Spaniard — although neither have made an official approach — and Everton have opened discussions on a new contract. His current deal does not expire until 2012.
Please don't go: Everton want Arteta to stay at Goodison Park Kenwright said: ‘We’ve have spoken to Mikel on a couple of occasions and tried to persuade him his future lies with us.’ Everton, meanwhile, have offered £900,000 to Strasbourg for their 19-year-old, France Under 21 striker Magaye Gueye.
Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia
May 29 2010 DailY Mail
Jonny Heiteger and Mucha played
A superb strike from Arjen Robben and a late Wesley Sneijder goal gave Netherlands a deserved if somewhat underwhelming victory over Slovakia to seal their place in the World Cup quarter-finals. Robben capped his first start of the finals in South Africa by collecting a pass from Sneijder before running at the Slovakia defence and then firing a superb low drive into the net from 25 yards.
Sneijder stroked home a pull-back from Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt to essentially seal the game for the Dutch, with Robert Vittek firing home a consolation penalty with the very last kick of the match. It gave Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk and his side a deserved victory, but one they rarely had to be at their best to secure against opponents that worked hard but lacked the composure to capitalise on the few chances that fell their way. In reaching the last 16 and eliminating Italy via a 3-2 group win over the holders, Slovakia have achieved their goal in their first World Cup since splitting from Czechoslovakia in 1993. With a quarter-final tie against either Brazil or Chile to come, the Dutch will have to up their game if they are to fulfil their own aim.
Van Marwijk's men have a 100% record in South Africa - matching their impressive achievement in winning all their qualification games for the tournament - and have now gone a Dutch record 23 games unbeaten, but there remains discontent amongst the Oranje Army, who feel their side are not winning with sufficient style. What England would give for such concerns. Such gripes, whilst arguably trivial in a successful side, are valid as the current Netherlands side are not the aesthetically pleasing product of generations past. They do not compare to the revered teams from 1974 and 1978, nor even are they as fluent as that which was eliminated from the European Championships at the quarter-final stage in 2008. This Dutch have traded in their total game for dependent football, with an efficiently pragmatic, rigid structure functioning largely to feed a supremely talented and liberated front three of Sneijder, Robben and Robin van Persie. This trio are capable of hurting the world's best and Slovakia - ranked 34 in the world - were unable to cope with their pace and movement. All three had efforts on goal during the first half, and while Van Persie planted a poor header wide and Sneijder shot straight at Slovakia goalkeeper Jan Mucha from an angle, Robben ruthlessly exposed Slovakia's defensive fallibility to score in the 18th minute. Sneijder floated a superb, raking pass to release the Bayern Munich man, who controlled, ran on, cut inside and then finished with aplomb into the bottom corner. It was the only moment of true quality in the first 45 minutes.
Robben was again in the thick of the action early in the second half, collecting the ball on the left and drawing a good full-stretch save from Mucha with a curling effort before appearing on the right and pulling back for Sneijder to shoot, but again the Slovakia keeper saved, this time with his face. Slovakia offered little threat in the first half, but twice in a space of two second-half minutes they threatened to draw level.
Miroslav Stoch took a leaf out of Robben's book by cutting inside onto his right foot and shooting but Netherlands keeper Maarten Stekelenburg tipped over.
Seconds later Marek Hamsik toe-poked forward for Vittek, who showed none of the composure he demonstrated to score twice against Italy by firing straight at Stekelenburg. With six minutes remaining, Sneijder made amends for his earlier miss, this time receiving a pull-back from Kuyt, after Mucha had missed the initial pass to the Liverpool player, and slotting home into a largely empty net. Slovakia's final touch in this World Cup was a positive one as Vittek stroked home a penalty for his fourth and final goal of the tournament after Stekelenburg had tripped the striker.
Young Everton FC lion Jack Rodwell ready to answer England call
Jun 30 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
JACK RODWELL has revealed he will be ready for England should the call come, and has set his sights on the 2012 European Championships. The Blues’ teenage midfielder has been highlighted in the aftermath of England’s disastrous World Cup campaign among the next generation expected to make the step up to the senior England squad. With an ageing team on his hands, under-fire manager Fabio Capello has suggested he is now ready to blood England’s youngsters. Rodwell believes Capello will keep his job and says it would be a dream to earn his first cap.
“I’d be honoured to make the next step to the senior side,” he said.
“I’ve got some experience at Under-21 level now, which was much different to the youth system. “I think I’d definitely be ready. I’ve always believed in my ability and it’s my dream to play for England. I’m going to keep working towards it. Whether it’s one or four years, I’ll keep doing my best to get there. “But, yes, I definitely believe I’ve got the ability to do it.” As one of the most highly thought of players in Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 squad, Rodwell has been tipped as a potential star of the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014, where England will be expected to atone for the disappointment of South Africa. However, the 19-year-old believes he can make his mark at senior international level sooner than that and is targeting the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in two years time. “Nobody’s talking about the European Championships but that is the main goal for me,” he confirmed.
“It’s two years away and I’ll be 21 then. I’ll have a lot more experience at Premier League level. “You can only look forward to what is next but, hopefully, if I can get a few more games and impress the England manager then I think I can definitely be in there. “But all I can focus on at the moment is playing football for Everton and getting a good run in the side. Whatever else happens will be a bonus.” England laboured through the group stage in South Africa before suffering a humiliating 4-1 loss to Germany in the last 16. That was England’s heaviest loss at a World Cup finals.
Capello is now under pressure to lose his job but Rodwell says the Italian should continue. “I’m not sure his job should be under threat,” said Rodwell.
“It was just a few off days really. Every time we played we just didn’t seem to play to the level we know we can. Whether that was the pressure placed on the team to do well, I don’t know. “I think Capello will stay on but, if not, I’m sure he’ll get another top job straight away. He’s a great manager.”
Everton FC starlet Jack Rodwell says England must give youth a chance
Jun 30 2010 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo
ENGLAND’S heaviest ever World Cup defeat provided a glimpse into the future of German football. For Jack Rodwell, it was a stark reminder of the past.
The Everton youngster was part of the England Under-21 team that was humbled in similar fashion by Germany at last summer’s European Championships.
As Fabio Capello’s side capitulated in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon, people suddenly started to take the Germans seriously again. Joachim Loew’s young and inexperienced side had previously been dismissed by many; touted instead as possible contenders for Poland and Ukraine 2012 or Brazil 2014. Rodwell, though, knew better. He knew of the quality held within their youthful ranks. He knew you should never write them off. No fewer than four of the starting XI that gave Capello’s England a football lesson were in the team that beat Stuart Pearce’s young team 4-0 in Malmo’s New Stadium just two days shy of a year earlier. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Jerome Boateng, midfielder and U-21 captain Sami Khedira and the outstanding floating playmaker Mesut Ozil had all graduated to Loew’s World Cup squad.
Now, in light of England’s disastrous campaign, Rodwell says it is time for some of the old guard step aside and give youth a chance.
“It’s certainly worked for Germany,” said the 19-year-old.
“I played against some of those players at the Under-21 championships last season.
“I remember Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira. They were very good players and you could tell they had the ability to progress, which they have done. They’ve shone at the World Cup. “The England Under-21 team have also got a few talents like that coming through. It’s just a case of putting them in there and giving them that experience now.” Rodwell has been highlighted by Capello himself as one of those very talents together with Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Adam Johnson and Joe Hart.
Of the team that started against Germany in South Africa only Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Glen Johnson will still be in their twenties when the next World Cup kicks off. While Rodwell believes the so-called ‘golden generation’ still have something to offer, he also feels blooding the next generation of internationals sooner rather than later will ensure England are better prepared next time around. “Steven Gerrard is still regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, as is Frank Lampard,” says Rodwell. “I think there is still a lot more to come from that group of players as a team but, certainly, as Germany have shown, it’s good to give the younger players experience and build for the future.” While Rodwell is fast becoming one of England’s hottest properties, the midfielder is increasingly the exception to the rule.
Everton moved quickly to tie the teenager down to a new five-year deal last month amid mounting interest from the usual suspects Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City. But Rodwell says it is becoming more difficult for the best of British talent to make the breakthrough. That in turn, he says, is impacting on the national team.
“It’s hard for the young British players to break through because of all the foreign players coming in,” said Rodwell, speaking after officially opening the new True Fit 18-hole golf course and driving range at Fiddlers Ferry near Warrington. “Clubs are even bringing players in from abroad at youth level now, which is making it even harder for young British players to come through. “Once our younger players start to get more experience of Premier League football that will put them in good stead to step up to international level when the time comes.” Of England’s World Cup exit, Capello offered tiredness as one explanation as to why so many of the nation’s top stars under-performed. Rodwell says it was the same situation for everyone in South Africa but is at a loss as to why England were so poor. “All the big players have been in the Champions League and had long seasons so you can’t just put it down to tiredness,” he said. “I’m not sure why England fell so short but they definitely underachieved. “Being out there is bound to be different from the qualifying situation but, as I say, every team is in the same boat. The pressure of a tournament situation can’t really be used as an excuse. “Also, it’s hard being away from home for such a long time but I’m sure most of the players are used to that. Why did so many players perform below their level? No-one knows the answer to that, not even the manager himself. “It’s hard to put it down to one thing. As a team, defensively, and also individually, England just didn’t produce as we know they can. “It’s disappointing that they’ve gone out though and takes away that bit of spice when you’re watching now. I’m sure they will come back stronger.”
Everton FC fans letters: Mikel Arteta has given his best for the Blues
Jun 30 2010 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
I HOPE the club and Mikel Arteta can sort things out, but if he does go I wish him all the luck for the future. He is a gentleman and has only given his best for the club.
BlueVision REGARDING all the speculation surrounding Mikel Arteta’s future at Everton, if the rumour is “he wants to return to Spain”, why is Arsene Wenger mentioned as a bidder for him and which clubs are likely to start a 'bidding war'?
I can't see any Spanish teams starting one. Blooper REGARDING the plans by Everton to build luxury homes on the site of the former training ground at Bellefield, the land should have been donated to the young people of this city who are not rich kids but would like the opportunity to play football. Or, the land should have been left as a green open space. DOODAH
THE Yak is being linked with a move away from Goodison this summer, with primarily West Ham looking to land the Nigerian striker. Rumours have it that David Moyes doesn't want to sell and has already turned town a bid of £7m. Would a fee of around £9m be too good to turn down for a player who Everton paid £11.25m for three years ago and has struggled to fully recover from a bad injury? mlyness
ANY money we might lose on Yakubu won’t be significant because his goals have been worth that since we bought him. It’s just a shame that he will never really be the player he was so take the money because we now have so many strikers on the books we won’t be able to keep them all happy. Stdomingo57
I SEE the fixtures printed for next season’s football matches but I think there is no point in playing derby matches if there will be referees like Graham Poll.
He admitted he disallowed a good match-winning goal for Everton against Liverpool in April 2000. He said he is a huge fan of Steven Gerrard and reading the article, Steven Gerrard is a huge fan of Graham Poll giving him a signed shirt and sending him a text message when he made his refereeing blunder at the World Cup in 2006.
Name & address supplied CONGRATULATIONS have to go out to Everton for the fair prices they are charging for the Everton Chile friendly match at Goodison Park.
Just £7 for season ticket holders and £3 for under-16s and over-64s represents great value and hopefully guarantees a full house and rocking atmosphere for this unique match. Everton will probably make more money this way than if they had charged full price, as more fans will turn up. Well done Everton. Richard Talbot, Kensington