Bryan Oviedo delighted to sign for Everton FC in transfer deadline day move from FC Copenhagen
Sept 1 2012
BRYAN OVIEDO said he was delighted to sign for Everton FC after the Costa Rican completed his deadline day switch from FC Copenhagen. The 22-year-old agreed a move after being granted a work permit yesterday morning and arrived at Goodison today (as shown in a picture tweeted by EFC) where he will provide exciting cover on the left flank for Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.
Oviedo made 24 appearances for the Danish side last season, with his performances attracting the attention of scouts across Europe including David Moyes who watched him several times.
He said: “I am very happy for the opportunity I now get to play in the world’s biggest league. It’s really hard for me to leave FC Copenhagen because the club has meant so much to me and aided my development. “I certainly could have seen myself at Copenhagen for a long time, but a switch to a historic club in the Premier League is a dream now fulfilled. I owe the club, my teammates and the fans of FCK so much and I will miss them all. Copenhagen’s sporting director Carsten V. Jensen said Everton have said Everton have signed an ever-improving young player. “We are pleased with the development Bryan has gone through at FCK,” he said. “He came to us directly from Costa Rica and it has been a pleasure to see him continually raise his level of ability. “The deal with Everton is also satisfactory for FC Copenhagen; we see it as a good piece of business carried out and can now send him on to the world’s best league wishing Bryan all the best of luck in England.”
Everton FC to bring in Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe
Sep 1 2012
EVERTON FC are poised to make a sixth summer signing after concluding an agreement to bring Belgian international Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe to Goodison Park. The deal was agreed just before Friday’s 11pm transfer deadline but now needs to be confirmed by FIFA next week. Club Brugge midfielder Odjidja-Ofoe, 23, will join on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy, teaming up with international colleagues Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas. The Blues signed Kilmarnock winger Matthew Kennedy for a nominal fee. The 17-year-old has agreed a three-year deal with the Barclays Premier League club, after impressing in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Kennedy, who made his debut against Hibernian at the age of 16, has represented Scotland at under-15 and under-16 level.
Everton U17 1 Arsenal U17 2
Goalscorers: Waring 15 (Everton)
Goalscorers: Hayden 57, Dawkins 61 (Arsenal)
Everton FC confirm signing of promising midfielder Matthew Kennedy from Kilmarnock
1st September 2012
EVERTON FC have completed the signing of promising midfielder Matthew Kennedy from Kilmarnock for a nominal fee. The 17-year-old winger has penned a three-year deal and will join up with Alan Stubbs’ Under-21 Reserve squad. The Scotland youth international has impressed for Kilmarnock since making his bow as a 16-year-old. That debut came against Hibernian in November 2011 after he had forced his way into the first-team picture with an impressive pre-season. Kennedy, who prefers to operate as a wide player, has been deployed as a striker in Kille’s opening games of the 2012/13 campaign after injuries to the club’s regular strikers. In all he has made 14 appearances for the Rugby Park outfit while also starring through the age groups for the Scottish youth international sides. Having represented his country at under-15 and under-16 level with considerable success, he has been a regular for the under-17s, making 13 appearances and scoring four times.
Barry Horne: It has been a bright summer, on and off the pitch, for Everton FC
by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
IT has not only been a brilliant start to the season for David Moyes and Everton, but you have to say it has been an excellent summer all round. When the dust settles following the madness of transfer deadline day, I think everybody at Goodison Park can be very pleased with what they have accomplished, and the manner in which they have done so. There has been no fanfare, no fuss and no controversy. Everton have done their business swiftly, and solidly. Their sales, necessary, have been judged perfectly, and their signings have been shrewd in the extreme. As I speak, it looks as though another signing has been wrapped up. I was fortunate enough to watch Bryan Oviedo (inset) in action last month, playing for FC Copenhagen against Lille in the Champions League, and I can assure Everton fans they have picked up a bargain. Maybe his scouting was driven by the fear of losing Leighton Baines, but Oviedo can offer more than just backup. He is a left back by trade, and a good one by all accounts, but he stood out against Lille as a left-sided midfielder. He has good feet, a bit of skill about him, and he can take players on and get crosses in. He also looked like a player with a good work ethic, which is I presume one of the key things which David Moyes will have wanted to see. He defended strongly and smartly. His signing, like those of Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar, add attacking quality to the squad. It also adds versatility, and cover for a number of positions. It would, for example, allow Pienaar to play infield if required. Options are never a bad thing for any manager. All in all, it has been a fabulous summer to be an Evertonian. On and off the pitch, things are looking bright.
Barry Horne: Everton FC cannot afford complacency at West Brom if they are to continue their strong start
by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
HOW long before we can officially say Everton have had “a good start”? Well, to my mind, the Blues need to sustain their form a little longer yet. A “start” is two months, not two games. Everton cannot go to West Brom with anything less than 100 per cent focus. Not that I think they will, of course. David Moyes has assembled a squad of quality, hunger and great togetherness. They rolled Villa over last weekend, and they will be looking to do the same to West Brom, who themselves have enjoyed a more than decent start to the campaign. I said last week that I felt Everton could look at Aston Villa’s squad and go there without anything to fear, well I think the same about West Brom.
Sure, they have one or two decent players in the likes of Peter Odemwingie and Chris Brunt, but do Everton need to worry about how to contain them? Not for me. By contrast, I’m sure Steve Clarke will be working with his coaching staff on ways to stop the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic, Kevin Mirallas, Leon Osman. Steve is a good guy, an excellent coach who has more than earned his chance to be a Premier League manager, but he will have his work cut out if Everton are anything like they have been in the opening three games. Against Leyton Orient in midweek, David Moyes could make six changes to his starting lineup, and you would not have known the difference. The game was over inside half an hour, and even though Orient were not up to much, that says plenty about the quality of Everton’s squad, and the confidence which is running through it at the moment. Another good result today, and that bandwagon will be hard to stop.
Royal Blue: Everton FC fans’ forum seeking new members
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
OPINIONATED Blues will get the opportunity to have their say as the latest recruitment drive for the Fans’ Forum launches this week. A search is underway for new members of the supporters group, which meet monthly with eight existing members who sit down with members of Everton’s executive management team, providing feedback to supporters. In May, the existing Forum capped off a successful season with a visit to Finch Farm to meet manager David Moyes. Chaired by Season Ticket holder Tony Bott, the group has discussed a range of issues from season ticket pricing, rewarding loyal supporters, finances, engaging with fans and bringing more youngsters to Goodison through the “£5 a game” ticket offer. Tony said: “We have come up with a new-look membership, structure and terms of office, which will all come into play this season. The Forum continues to evolve and the club and fans are working together to achieve the best possible format.”
Last season, the forum also met with the Professional Game Match Officials Board to find out more about how refereeing works, and sat down with club partners Kitbag and Sodexo . If you want to have your say, visit evertonfc.com and fill in the application form by Monday, September 17.
Royal Blue: Everton FC show player trading works if you’re canny traders
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
MUCH OF the discontent which has lingered around Everton in recent summers has centred around a lack of investment. Yet with no fresh influx of cash forthcoming, the club has been increasingly up front with supporters about its need to trade players. To some it remains undesirable and the questions over its long term sustainability are valid, however when arguably only Chelsea and Manchester City do otherwise in the Premier League - success could be defined by who trades best.
This summer, I’d warrant that most clubs have looked enviously at Everton’s trading performance. The ageing Tim Cahill replaced by the vital Steven Pienaar and the promising Steven Naismith, with periphery man Jack Rodwell’s absence filled by Kevin Mirallas and Bryan Ovideo. No key men have been sacrificed and unsurprisingly Everton’s form has benefited. Credit must go to Bill Kenwright and Robert Elstone for skilful navigation of the club’s financial boundaries and as ever to Moyes for being one of the best traders around.
Royal Blue: Everton FC legend Howard Kendall kept schtum under Orient inquisition
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
HOWARD Kendall might be a loyal friend but his true loyalty lies with his beloved Everton – just ask Russell Slade. The Leyton Orient manager invited his former boss and close pal at Notts County to see him at the Village Hotel in Huyton where he was preparing his squad ahead of Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup tie at Goodison. Slade had already phoned Howard after the draw was made to ask for advice or insight into how to beat the Toffees but Kendall was having none of it. The Blues legend simply wished him luck, and Slade admitted he’d need it but in the end his hopes were in vain.
Royal Blue: Great to see sparkle back in Seamus Coleman’s eyes
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
THERE were times last season when Seamus Coleman appeared to have lost the footballing joy and innocence which made his first appearances for Everton such a breath of fresh air.
Gone was the fearlessly raw youngster who had not been over polished by an English academy into simply passing sideways or backwards. Instead of those swashbuckling runs at full backs when he would shunt the ball past them one way and burst around the other, Coleman appeared to be adapting all too quickly to being a squad player without the zest at Goodison, in tandem with the realisation that many of his tricks had been figured out and contained by opposing managers.
Sure, he was benefiting positively from learning to survive in the top flight and David Moyes continued to rely on him as a disciplined and energetic substitute to help see out games, but all that early promise was beginning to stall. Too frequently the 23-year-old’s end product, whether a cross or shot, was disappointing and even the goodwill for him amid the Goodison faithful was dwindling.
Then came the FA Cup semi-final when Coleman’s eagerness to make an impact after coming off the bench led to a rash foul on Steven Gerrard, and Everton conceding the free kick which produced Andy Carroll’s winning goal. It’s safe to say Seamus, like his club, had enjoyed better days at Wembley. That’s why anyone with high regard for the former Sligo Rovers man will have been thrilled to watch him rediscover his spark on Wednesday night against Orient. Pity Orient’s left-back, because Coleman was almost unplayable, giving Russell Slade’s men a torrid time down the right. The push and rush was back, but alongside it was extra refinement unhindered by ball retaining considerations. It was a display which suggested his woes last term were second-season syndrome. Now the challenge is to do it against better opposition – and keep doing it.
Everton FC new boy Steven Naismith could be signing of the summer, says Steve Round
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
MORE THAN his intelligent movement, more than his penchant for goals, and more even that his astounding bargain status – one moment sums up Steven Naismith’s finest quality according to Steve Round. Ask Everton’s assistant boss why the unassuming Scotsman could be deemed one of the signings of the summer, and he points to a moment during the Blues 5-0 Capital One Cup victory on Wednesday that sums up the exemplary attitude which has made him a perfect fit at Goodison.
“The other night was the epitome,” says Round. “They had a free kick in the 87th minute and played it square. He charged out from nowhere and blocked it because he didn’t want us to concede.
“Even at 5-0 he wanted to keep that clean sheet. That sums up his attitude - he’s a team player.
“Arguably we may find that Steven Naismith could be one of the best signings of the summer, especially getting him for nothing. “A player of that standard who has slotted into the Everton way has been tremendous business. His ability is really good. He knits things together and he’s intelligent with his runs and movement. He has a regular goal scoring record and you can see that in training. But above all his character and work ethic has fit into the Everton way. “At 25 years of age, and for nothing that’s a very good signing.” Naismith’s recovery from a second knee cruciate injury last October has gone smoothly since he joined the Toffees, and he has featured in all of their games so far this season. A double occurrence of such a serious injury during a player’s career would be enough to give most buyers pause for thought, but Round says the Scotland international’s determination has been a key factor. “When it happened the second time it would have been devastating for him,” says Round. “For such a bad injury to happen once is a rarity but to happen twice must have been shattering for him. “But as he started on his road of recovery he probably realised that if he’d come back before he could come back again. The pitfalls you have and unknowns along the rehab route are easier if you’ve been through it already. Maybe that’s why he’s hit the ground so quickly after recovering.” Naismith has not seemed out of place in the English top flight so far, and part of that has been the ease with which he has fitted into the dressing room at Goodison. “He’s used to the Scottish league which is similar to speed and intensity of the Premier League,” says Round. “In the dressing room he’s a born and bred Everton player – good and conscientious. “It’s easier because he speaks the language as well, lads from abroad usually take longer.” Naismith’s arrival has been just one of the highlights of an unusually positive summer for the blue half of Merseyside, with smooth transfer dealing leading to an impressive start for David Moyes’ men. “We’ve got Mirallas who was a player we’d watched for a long time, and having the funds available from selling Jack Rodwell allowed us to strengthen in a different area.
“We feel Kevin will develop into a really good player. Steven Pienaar was the catalyst for everything. Getting him early was crucial and that was great work from the chairman and the manager to encourage him to come. He’s found his spiritual home here. “To do the deal with Yobo and Tim Cahill made that a possibility.” Round believes the club’s positivity in the market has sent a clear signal to its current players. “Getting most of them in early settled everyone down and it was a continuation of the last three months of last season,” he says. “You could sense the resonance in the dressing room – we hadn’t lost a star – a Lescott or an Arteta. The team could see the club showing some ambition and it gave us a positive feel and gave us a better start.
Other clubs have recruited more players and spent more money, but it’s been very good.
“There’s positive momentum and a feeling we’re on the up. Overall we’re very happy with the first 11 but need more strength in depth.”
Everton FC make last-minute transfer deadline day loan move for Belgian midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe
Sep 1 2012
EVERTON FC pushed through a dramatic last-minute transfer deadline day loan move for Belgian midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe - subject to international clearance on Monday. David Moyes had been keen to strengthen his central midfield options and having missed out on Stoke City-bound Steven N'Zonzi and an ambitious bid for Chelsea's Michael Essien, he turned to the Club Brugge man with just hours remaining. The Toffees were too late to finalise a permanent move for Odjidja-Ofoe before last night's 11pm deadline, but managed to do the required paper-work to secure him on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal in the future. Everton must now wait until Monday for final ratification from the football authorities. The 23-year-old defensive midfielder shone in last season’s Europa Cup tie against Birmingham City, and laid on a goal for Joseph Akpala in the 2-2 draw at St Andrews. The 6ft 1in powerhouse joined Brugge from Bundesliga side Hamburg for £800,000 three years ago and went on to become a key player for the Jupiler league outfit with 14 goals from 117 appearances. He becomes the third Belgian international signed by Moyes, following in the footsteps of Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas.
Final Whistle Report: West Bromwich Albion 2 Everton FC 0
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2012
EVERTON FC's unbeaten start to the season was brought to a shuddering halt with a frustrating 2-0 defeat by West Brom at the Hawthorns. Fresh from the closure of one of their most successful summer transfer windows in a long time, the Blues arrived in the Midlands high on confidence but were brought back down to earth by a stoic, ruthlessly well-drilled performance from Steve Clarke’s men. Goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley condemned the toothless Toffees to defeat and will leave them licking their wounds for the next fortnight, as the Premier League schedule makes way for international football. The initial phases were scrappy with neither side finding any convincing tempo to their passing, although the Blues had the slight edge thanks to Steven Pienaar’s menacing bursts down the left. Everton thought they had won a penalty when Nikica Jelavic was upended challenging for the ball with Claudio Yacob but replay showed the Baggies defender had won the ball. Nevertheless, the hosts’ surfeit of attention for Marouane Fellaini was allowing Jelavic to drift into space undetected. The Toffees hopes suffered a sizeable blow when Darron Gibson limped off, still feeling the thigh problem he picked up at Villa Park last weekend. Without his metronomic distribution the Toffees have looked less fluent of late, and Moyes was forced to reshuffle his pack with Phil Neville moving into midfield and Tony Hibbert entering the back line.
While it didn’t affect the visitors’ defensive solidity, it naturally unsettled their midfield rhythm and West Brom nearly capitalised. Liam Ridgewell burst down the right flank and crossed expertly for the impressive Shane Long who rattled the cross bar with a powerful header. In response Everton worked the ball down the right and Maroaune Fellaini connected to Hibbert’s deep cross to the far post with a terrific header which just dipped over the bar. But Clarke’s men were carving out the majority of the compelling chances. First Jonas Olsson out jumped Sylvain Distin to head James Morrison’s free kick over the bar. Then Phil Jagielka’s defensive header dropped to Morrison’s feet 25 yards from goal, but the Scotland international took a heavy touch and under pressure from Leighton Baines he made the chance difficult for himself although it still required an excellent save from Tim Howard to keep him from scoring. After the break West Brom maintained their growing stranglehold on the game, with Youssouf Mulumbu screwing a shot wide and their two banks of four continuing to prove impenetrable to the Blues. But they managed their best move of the game shortly after when Pienaar managed to evade the close attentions of Gareth McAuley for a moment to swop passes with Fellaini and allow Baines to surge into the area and win a corner with a deflected low strike. From the set-piece Fellaini dragged a shot wide after Hibbert headed the Baggies’ clearance back into the mixer. Changes were required and Moyes duly replaced the quiet Naismith with new boy Kevin Mirallas. The Belgian had an almost instant impact when he collected a pass from Leon Osman and burst into the area to flash a low ball across goal. The pass evaded Pienaar but Fellaini was lurking well-placed at the far post only to make a mess of his finish much to the delight of the home fans behind the goal. There was a growing sense that it wasn’t Everton’s day, and they duly fell behind. Peter Odemwingie scampered down the left and delivered a perfect low cross that evaded Jagielka’s desperate lunge and allowed Long to tap in from close range.
Moyes asked Victor Anichebe to go on and try to repeat is New Year’s Day heroics at the same ground, but the Blues lacked sparkle and their self-belief seemed to wilt under West Brom’s growing dominance. But it was futile and his men were soon licking their wounds again. Fellaini lost Gareth McAuley from Chris Brunt’s corner and the defender got above Howard to score with a thumping header. Even when Jagielka drilled the ball across goal with minutes left, it still managed to avoid three blue shirts. Five minutes of added time made no difference, and Moyes was left to head back to Merseyside pondering how to overcome teams who present sturdier resistance than Aston Villa to his side’s left-sided threat.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Foster, Reid (Jones, 52) Olsson (Capt), Yacob, Ridgewell, Morrison, Mulumbu, McAuley, Dorrans (Odemwingie, 58), Fortune, Long (Brunt, 76).
Subs not used: Myhill, Rosenberg, Gera, Dawson.
Goals: Long (66), McAuley (82)
EVERTON: Howard, Neville (Capt), Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Gibson, Naismith (Mirallas, 62) Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic.
Subs not used: Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Gueye, Coleman, Anichebe.
Bookings: Hibbert, Neville, Fellaini
Ref: Jon Moss
Hayden and Dawkins secure U18 victory over Everton
Posted by Jeorge Bird on September 1, 2012
Arsenal U18s secured their first victory of the season, and their maiden win under new coach Pat Holland after coming from behind to defeat Everton 2-1 at London Colney earlier today.
Everton had taken the lead early on through George Waring, but goals from influential skipper Isaac Hayden and dangerous winger Tarum Dawkins handed the young Gunners victory.
Holland, with the likes of Serge Gnabry, Kris Olsson, Hector Bellerin and Chuba Akpom promoted to the U21 team, once again found his resources considerably drained, especially with Jon Toral, who had scored in the two previous matches so far this season, also kept in reserve for the elder age group. Josh Vickers is back fully fit, so goalkeeper Stuart Moore is likely to return to Reading shortly. New signing Dejan Iliev was at London Colney, but was unable to play as his deal is yet to be formally ratified by FIFA. Holland’s side closely resembled the side that was thrashed 5-1 by Bolton Wanderers on the opening day, with the only alteration being Alex Iwobi’s inclusion in place of Toral.
Vickers Mugabo-Fagan-Hayden-Ormonde Ottewill Kamara-Jebb Dawkins-Iwobi-Jeffrey
Lipman subs: Ross, Siemann, Dallison, Uade.
After a tame opening, Everton soon seized control of proceedings, with Waring’s harmless effort wide the first meaningful attempt by either side. Hayden then did well to make a timely block with Chris Long bearing down on goal, but neither he or any of his team-mates were able to prevent the Toffees taking the lead shortly afterwards when Waring finished adroitly after being played through by Long. It was telling of Everton’s dominance that Arsenal took until the 21′st minute to carve out their first meaningful opportunity when the ever-dangerous Anthony Jeffrey found Jack Jebb, but the midfielder’s effort, whilst on target, lacked conviction. Iwobi then shot over, then Lipman saw a shot deflected on to a post, before, soon after, directing a shot straight into the arms of the Everton goalkeeper. Jeffrey then saw too good efforts go close as Arsenal cranked up the pressure prior to the interval, before Hayden was denied on the stroke of half-time by a superb save.
Arsenal, having been rather poor in the opening period, were a more cohesive outfit in the second period, and were finally rewarded for their improvement when Hayden scored his first goal at this level with an impressive strike. Just four minutes later Arsenal were in front when Hayden turned provider for Dawkins, and the former Luton Town youngster finished well. The winger, who was also dangerous against Bolton, then went close again but shot just wide. Arsenal were now in the ascendancy but Everton very nearly levelled when Long’s effort went just over.
Arsenal held on, though, to secure take their points tally to four before they take on Norwich City next week.
West Brom 2-0 Everton: Baggies great start continues as Toffees come unstuck
02/09/12 (Sunday Mirror)
When gallows humour was a Goodison speciality, Everton supporters ¬normally had a nice line in nicknames.Few of those fans will have anything other than fond memories of Daniel Amokachi.Indeed, no less an oracle than FIFA’s official website records his popularity on Merseyside, noting how the soubriquet of Amo-Taxi was earned ‘for his bustling style of play’.Erm, it might have been something to do with him carrying passengers but never mind.I will spare individual blushes as I’m sure ¬Everton were not the only club to have a striker known as Jigsaw. Goes to pieces in the box.But a favourite was the Fireman, so christened because ¬everything he touched went out.For some reason, that moniker came to mind watching this worthy but woefully unaccomplished game. I had probably been spoilt, the memory of Atletico Madrid’s ¬technical masterclass fresh in the memory.But technique exhibited by the Spanish in Monaco should not be foreign to these teams.Particularly Everton, whose league placings over the last decade have been in a similar parish to those of Atletico’s.And as every little ¬Englander never tires of telling us, after Barcelona and Real Madrid, La Liga is hopeless.Yeah, right. This was not a bad game. Just a basic one. Not unexciting but unsophisticated.It was no coincidence that the one genuinely fluid move of the match – featuring a rare occasion when two consecutive passes were perfectly ¬delivered and weighted – put West Brom in a match-winning position.And the solidity instilled by Steve Clarke ensured Everton always looked likely to be held at bay – even without the ¬insurance of Gareth McAuley’s header.Being able to introduce mercurial talent from the bench – Peter Odemwingie put in a splendid cross to set up Shane Long’s goal – is nice. But West Brom’s continued success will be founded on the defensive midfield toil of Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob.Practicalities mean ¬everything in this part of the Premier League. And if that is at the expense of purism, then so be it. For the most part, this was little more than a litany of misplaced passes and, poor control. Before Long’s bright finish, Marouane ¬Fellaini found the ball on his left foot, Ben Foster pretty much a spectator.And with one wild swish, the sudden gloss on Belgian reputation was dulled a touch.Fellaini’s role provided David Moyes with one of the questions to ponder after this first defeat.While Sir Alex Ferguson was simply a sore loser in his comments a fortnight ago, there was an inclination to go unnecessarily direct to Fellaini here.And this was a reminder to over-expectant Everton followers that certain ¬areas still look thin.When Darron Gibson had to hobble off, the one genuinely cultured central midfielder hobbled off. If he is out for any length of time, he will be a considerable loss.For Moyes, though, this is no emergency. It’s just that for all our sakes watching the Premier League, we could do with a few less firemen.
We were good value for our win over Everton FC says West Brom’s Steve Clarke
by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
Sep 3 2012
STEVE CLARKE believes his West Bromwich Albion side were “good value” for their three points as they saw off Everton at The Hawthorns.The Baggies made it three games unbeaten at the start of the Premier League season with a 2-0 win over David Moyes' men, thanks to second-half goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley.“It was a very good afternoon,” said Clarke. “It was a good game for us.“Everton came here in a good moment and we arrived also in a good moment. “I thought the first half was a little bit cagey, it was two good teams that were feeling each other out a little bit.“In the second half the game opened up a little bit and I thought we were good value for the win.”Clarke added: “It’s a good start when you look at the games we've had.“It could have been difficult – mind you it is always difficult in the Premier League.“It doesn’t matter who you play, you know it’s going to be a tough game. But seven points out of nine is a good start and it gives us something to build on.”Albion defender Liam Ridgewell, meanwhile, said he was delighted to keep a clean sheet against another “top side” in Everton.“We’re buzzing with that, especially as it came against another top side,” said Ridgewell.“That’s pretty massive for the team and in particular the back five.“Everton are doing well at the minute and I’m sure people will come unstuck against them.“But we’re doing really well at the minute and hopefully we can keep that going.”
LFC and EFC runners defy rain for Alan Ball tribute 5k in Walton Hall Park
by Joe Thomas, Liverpool Echo
Sep 3 2012
EVERTON FC and Liverpool FC fans teamed up to take part in the Big Heart 5k in memory of Blues legend Alan Ball.Former Reds’ player Alan Kennedy and Blues’ striker and manager Joe Royle cheered on enthusiastic runners at the Walton Hall Park run.This year the Everton fans were left celebrating as an Evertonian won the race for the first time.Runners wearing blue or red shirts depending on which team they supported put aside their rivalry to raise money for their chosen good causes.More than 150 took part in the event won by 19-year-old Everton FC fan Ben Costello, from the Wirral.Ben, who was running for the Chris Salmon Foundation, said: “My grandad was a Blue but I was running for a friend who passed away a couple of years ago when we were in school.“Football was close to his heart so I’m pleased to do the business for him.” Joe Royle was delighted to see a Blue shirt cross the finish line first – and with the success of the race.He said: “When the poeple in Liverpool come together with something like this it’s great.”Alan Kennedy also praised the event which was set up four years ago in memory of Alan Ball, who died of a heart attack in 2007, aged 61.He said: “I’m pleased with the way it’s been done.“A lot of charities will benefit from this and that’s the main focus of both Everton and Liverpool.After the Big Heart 5k another 500 runners went on to take part in the team 5k event around the park yesterday afternoon.
Everton FC match report: West Bromwich Albion 2 Everton FC 0
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 3 2012
AFTER the brightest of summers, metaphorically speaking of course, a brief rain shower. In the words of those ubiquitous posters though keep calm and carry on.Evertons scorching start to the season was always going to be given a stern test at the Hawthorns, and Steve Clarkes men did a good job of dousing the wilder fires of optimism which had spread around L4.Maybe the Gwladys Street wont sing about winning the league, tongue in cheek though it was, against Newcastle in a fortnight, but neither should anyone be in a rush to write the Toffees off yet.David Moyes men will not be the only side to endure a frustrating afternoon at West Brom this season, against an obdurately well-drilled side that knows how to stifle and clamp-down the assets of its opponents.And perhaps Evertons players had stayed up too late watching the transfer deadline day coverage, because they were decidedly off-colour when it came to repeating their heroics against Aston Villa in the Midlands.While Marouane Fellaini has previously been breath-taking this term, on Saturday he was distinctly average.The hosts pre-match commentary on the big-screen included asking Baggies fans who they most feared from the opposition and one Brummie glibly replied that if his side could keep Fellaini quiet they had nothing else to fear. On this occasion he was right.Knocked out of his stride early on by a deliberate targeting job from West Brom, the Belgian was given an equally torrid time by blinkered referee Jon Moss who might as well have pulled on a blue and white striped shirt instead of the alarming red one he sported. Certainly Evertons talisman was afforded special attention by West Brom, but the best players thrive in such circumstances and find a way to flourish.Thats the challenge for Fellaini, and something Moyes will be keen to impress on him Everton do not have the luxury of players picking when to shine.But Fellaini wasnt the only one to disappoint in the Midlands. Once the hugely influential Darron Gibson had limped off with a thigh strain in the first half, Everton couldnt cope.The initial phases had been scrappy from both sides, with neither finding any convincing tempo to their passing, although the Blues had the slight edge thanks to Steven Pienaars menacing bursts down the left.But while at Villa Park Pienaar sizzled, here he was contained and generally marshalled out of the game. Despite their lacklustre start, Everton might have opened the scoring when Fellaini connected to Hibberts deep cross to the far post with a terrific header which just dipped over the bar.But Clarkes men were carving out the majority of the compelling chances. First Jonas Olsson out-jumped Sylvain Distin to head James Morrisons free-kick over the bar.Then Phil Jagielkas defensive header dropped to Morrisons feet 25 yards from goal, but the midfielder took a heavy touch and under pressure from Leighton Baines he made the chance unduly difficult for himself, although it still required an excellent save from Tim Howard to keep him from scoring.After the break West Brom maintained their growing stranglehold on the game, with Youssouf Mulumbu screwing a shot wide and their two banks of four continuing to prove impenetrable to the Blues.Again though, Everton were not without chances to nick something. New boy Kevin Mirallas had an almost instant impact as a second-half substitute, when he collected a pass from Leon Osman and burst into the area to flash a low ball across goal. The pass evaded Pienaar but Fellaini was lurking well-placed at the far post only to make a mess of his finish much to the delight of the home fans behind the goal. If anything summed up that it wasnt Evertons day it was that howler.Then Peter Odemwingie scampered down the left and delivered a perfect low cross that evaded Jagielkas desperate lunge and allowed Long to tap in from close range.No wonder the Blues once coveted the Irishman before he signed for the Baggies; with his aerial prowess, non-stop work rate and pest-factor in the penalty area, he was reminiscent of Tim Cahill in his prime.Of course theres no Cahill to rely on anymore, so Moyes asked Victor Anichebe to go on and try to repeat his New Years Day heroics at the same ground, but the Blues lacked sparkle and their self-belief seemed to wilt under West Broms growing dominance.The international break means that Everton have two weeks now to lick their wounds and prove this was just a blip on an otherwise hugely promising start to the season. Repeat their opening game form against Manchester United when Newcastle come to Goodison, and this miserable afternoon will quickly be forgotten.
We didn’t test West Brom enough says Everton FC boss David Moyes
by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
Sep 3 2012
DAVID MOYES admitted he was frustrated with Everton FC’s lack of cutting edge as they suffered their first defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion.Second-half strikes from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley gave Steve Clarke’s side the points at The Hawthorns, as the Blues failed to make it three straight wins to start their Premier League campaign, and slumped to their first league reverse in 13 matches.And Moyes said he was disappointed by his side’s inability to open up an Albion side that have themselves made a strong start to the season.“I thought for the first hour we had good control,” said Moyes.“But we didn’t do well enough in the final third today and that was the reason we didn’t win.“I’ve got to say West Brom defended really well, they came off the play, allowed us the ball.“I made a change to try and win the game because I felt we were not doing enough to try to score, and in opening up we conceded a goal from it.“I probably should have stayed as we were and maybe come away with a 0-0, but I wanted to try and win the game.“We had enough of the ball to do that, but we hardly crossed it, we hardly passed it and credit to West Brom, they look as though they still had Roy Hodgson’s shape about them at times, and they counter-attacked on us well.”He added: “They have had a good start and they showed that today.“It was always going to be a tough game, obviously having two of our three league games away from home is difficult. But six points isn’t a bad return.” Moyes pointed to a miss by Marouane Fellaini, just minutes before Long’s opener, as the game’s key turning point, and admitted the early loss of Darron Gibson to a thigh injury had played its part in disrupting his side’s rhythm. “(Fellaini’s miss) was a key moment because the first goal in the Premier League is vital,” he said.“If we’d have got that then West Brom would have had to come out, and they hadn’t done so prior to that.“They’d let us make the play, which we did quite well from the back to the middle, but in the final third we just didn’t produce it, which is not like us because we’ve been doing well recently. “I thought we played well, and had control in the first half. I think the game changed a little bit when Darron went off. Tony (Hibbert) just didn’t look quite there today, he maybe hadn’t had enough training since his injury either.”Gibson’s fitness will be assessed at Finch Farm today.The midfielder had, however, already withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan, after failing to feature under Giovanni Trapattoni at Euro 2012.“We’d be delighted for him to play for the Republic of Ireland,” said Moyes. “He didn’t play in the Euros, so I think he’s probably disappointed at not being selected.“I spoke to him a couple of times about it, and I encouraged him to play. He wants to play.“I think he’s spoken to the manager there, but the club always encourages its players to play for their country.“I think he will (go back). He’s not played recently, so I’m sure he’s disappointed. But he’ll play for Ireland, I’ve no doubt about that.”
Everton FC’s Marouane Fellaini must cope with being singled out, says Leon Osman
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 3 2012
MAROUANE FELLAINI’S blistering form so far this season for Everton FC means he must learn to cope with being singled out by rivals, says Leon Osman.The Belgian had an off-day during Everton’s frustrating 2-0 defeat by West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday, with Steve Clarke’s men taking extra care to limit his effectiveness.With no protection from blundering ref Jon Moss either, the midfielder cut a forlorn figure and wasted a glorious chance – but Osman insists Fellaini must rise above it.He said: “When you are as effective as he is, teams are going to find a way to stop you. That’s up to him and us as a team to find ways around that.“I don’t need to go into how the ref was. People are going to try and stop him playing and being effective for us.“On other occasions we have been OK with that and found ways around that, playing in different parts of the field, but apart from the opening half an hour, we couldn’t really operate.”Everton’s midfield hopes were also hit by the departure through injury of Darron Gibson in the first half, something Osman admitted unsettled them.“We were on top at the time,” he added. “We were playing the ball through the midfield and me and him were getting a lot of the ball. It was disappointing he had to go off. Gibbo was playing well at the time.” Despite the set-back, the midfielder believes Everton are still well placed to return to winning ways when they resume action against Newcastle United on September 17, and he reiterated that Everton’s positive transfer business this summer remains a plus point.“This transfer window again, we must have brought in five or six players,” he added. “In 2012 alone we must have brought in 10 or 12 players. It’s great for the fans watching in and it’s good for us to get new blood in and freshen everything up.“We’ve hit the ground running, which is good for us, two wins out of three, so we will try and take the positives from this and not dwell on this one. They’re all big games in the Premier League and we’ve now got two weeks to get our minds and bodies onto that one (Newcastle).“We’ve got an extra day because we don’t play until the Monday night.“It will be good to get the international lads back and give them an extra couple of days before that game.”Moyes brought in two players on deadline day Friday, left-back Bryan Oviedo and midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, 23, who will sign today on a season-long loan subject to international clearance from football authorities.“The manager seems to know his stuff in the transfer market,” added Osman. “He seems to find a few gems no-one else has heard about. We expect good things from him.”
David Moyes frustrated by Everton's lack of cutting edge
Sep 3 2012
DAVID MOYES admitted he was frustrated with Everton’s lack of cutting edge as they suffered their first defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion.Second-half strikes from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley gave Steve Clarke’s side the points at The Hawthorns, as the Blues failed to make it three straight wins to start their Premier League campaign, and slumped to their first league reverse in 13 matches.And Moyes said he was disappointed by his side’s inability to open up an Albion side that have themselves made a strong start to the season."I thought for the first hour we had good control," said Moyes."But we didn’t do well enough in the final third today and that was the reason we didn’t win."I’ve got to say West Brom defended really well, they came off the play, allowed us the ball."I made a change to try and win the game because I felt we were not doing enough to try to score, and in opening up we conceded a goal from it."I probably should have stayed as we were and maybe come away with a 0-0, but I wanted to try and win the game."We had enough of the ball to do that, but we hardly crossed it, we hardly passed it and credit to West Brom, they look as though they still had Roy Hodgson’s shape about them at times, and they counter-attacked on us well."He added: "They have had a good start and they showed that today."It was always going to be a tough game, obviously having two of our three league games away from home is difficult. But six points isn’t a bad return."Moyes pointed to a miss by Marouane Fellaini, just minutes before Long’s opener, as the game’s key turning point, and admitted the early loss of Darron Gibson to a thigh injury had played its part in disrupting his side’s rhythm."(Fellaini’s miss) was a key moment because the first goal in the Premier League is vital," he said. "If we’d have got that then West Brom would have had to come out, and they hadn’t done so prior to that."They’d let us make the play, which we did quite well from the back to the middle, but in the final third we just didn’t produce it, which is not like us because we’ve been doing well recently."I thought we played well, and had control in the first half. I think the game changed a little bit when Darron went off. Tony (Hibbert) just didn’t look quite there today, he maybe hadn’t had enough training since his injury either."Gibson’s fitness will be assessed at Finch Farm today. The midfielder had, however, already withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan, after failing to feature under Giovanni Trapattoni at Euro 2012."We’d be delighted for him to play for the Republic of Ireland," said Moyes. "He didn’t play in the Euros, so I think he’s probably disappointed at not being selected. "I spoke to him a couple of times about it, and I encouraged him to play. He wants to play."I think he’s spoken to the manager there, but the club always encourages its players to play for their country."I think he will (go back). He’s not played recently, so I’m sure he’s disappointed. But he’ll play for Ireland, I’ve no doubt about that."
Clarke of the works: Long says Baggies boss has gone from no-mark to top marks
West Brom 2-0 Everton: Ireland star Shane admits there were concerns about the new manager's lack of experience... but that's all changed nowShane Long admits he doubted Steve Clarke’s appointment as West Brom boss because of his inexperience.But as soon as the Republic of Ireland striker met Clarke, he knew the right man had succeeded Roy Hodgson. Long was instantly impressed by Clarke and is now a fan.He likes the Scot’s style – Clarke has told his players to double the number of passes they make in a game – and his mature man-management.Clarke isn’t a teacup thrower and believes players listen better to quiet words rather than a rant.“I suppose at the back of your mind you’re a bit concerned,” said Long. “But the second you meet him, you realise he’s a top manager.“He’s come in and put his stamp on everything. There’s a bit of a difference from Roy and his style is about passing, passing, passing.“We pass the ball out from the back and try to pass it as much as we can. He’s quiet most of the time. He doesn’t bark much, he just says what needs to be said and I think you take more in that way.“Before each game he says a few words of wisdom and that really gets us up for it and that’s why we’ve started so well this season.”Clarke’s methods are working and victory over Everton lifted Albion to third with seven points from their testing first three Premier League games.Long isn’t dreaming of the Champions League just yet and pointed out that Wolves made a similar start last season and were relegated.The former Reading hitman is the tip of Clarke’s 4-2-3-1 formation and although he finds it lonely at times, has scored three in his last two games.Long was a threat all match and he smashed a header against the bar in the first half before breaking the deadlock after 65 minutes.Clarke showed his tactical nous bringing on Peter Odemwingie and within seven minutes, he put over a perfect left-wing cross on a plate for Long to sweep the ball home.A minute earlier Marouane Fellaini had blazed over a great chance and those 60 seconds decided the match.Everton couldn’t respond and eight minutes from time, Fellaini lost Gareth McAuley for the defender to complete a Northern Ireland one-two, heading home Chris Brunt’s corner from four yards out.Republic coach Giovanni Trapattoni would have been impressed with Long after calling his behaviour “idiotic” when he pulled out of last month’s friendly against Serbia with an injury, only to declare later he could have played.“It was just crossed wires, a misunderstanding,” said Long, who has been named by Trapattoni in the Irish squad to face Kazakhstan on Friday. “It’s all forgotten about on my side and I think it’s the same for him.”
I wanted to hurt Everton
By GRAHAM HILL
3rd September 2012 (The Sun)
The Baggies boss sent on Peter Odemwingie in the second half and he crossed for Shane Long for the opener.Gareth McAuley added a second as Albion made it seven points out of nine — the club’s best start in 34 seasons.Clarke said: “I wasn’t so much concerned about what Everton could do to us.“I was more thinking what we could do to hurt Everton.“Peter has got a little bit of pace which can catch the opposition on the counter. But management is not easy.“I have some fantastic players who weren’t even involved so I have to juggle that around.“It’s been a good start. When you looked at the games we had you thought it would be difficult but seven points from nine gives us something build on.”Clarke paid tribute to Claudio Yacob after he helped to stop the Toffees playing their game.The Argentine midfielder, 25, arrived on a free from Racing Santander in the summer. Clarke said: “Yacob has settled in really quickly which is a great credit to the lad himself.“Maybe when his English improves he’ll get even better because he’ll understand the lads — or maybe not!”
Steve Clarke's subtle brand of passing football has West Brom purring
Stuart James at The Hawthorns
guardian.co.uk, 3rd September 2012
It can be dangerous to read too much into results when we are at a stage in the season when supporters are still turning up in shorts. As Shane Long pointed out, Wolves also had seven points from their first three games last year and everyone knows what happened to them. It is difficult, though, to believe that an impressive West Bromwich Albion side, who have spent little time grieving over the departure of Roy Hodgson, will go the same way as their Black Country rivals.Steve Clarke has stepped into Hodgson's shoes with the minimum of fuss, picking up two victories and a draw from three games – Liverpool and Everton at home and Tottenham Hotspur away – that all ended in defeat last season. It is true to say that Albion's head coach inherited a decent squad but he has also made some subtle changes to the way the team play, the most significant being a greater emphasis on passing, which has been welcomed within the dressing room and delivered tangible reward against Everton when Long finished off a move that involved all but two outfield players.While Hodgson's work at The Hawthorns should not be underestimated, the vibe from the Albion players is that life under Clarke is particularly enjoyable. "He has started smoothly and he looks like someone who had a plan," said Peter Odemwingie, who came off the bench to set up Long's opener."He has said that he wants to build and instead of just trying to stay in the league, he wants to win one of the cups. He will play strong teams in the cups and he will be aggressive in football, not passive and just defending and trying to stay up. We are going to try to grow and when I heard his ambitions for the season it was pleasing. He worked under big-name coaches; we knew he couldn't not be affected by those big-name coaches who want to win things."The boys are really enjoying his training and you can see our passing game has really improved. He said the goal was to build on our organisation and to almost double the number of passes that we make in every game. That was one of the targets. It helps you recover faster and create more chances."On Saturday we played against a difficult team but our game on the ball is more interesting."It was a disappointing afternoon for David Moyes, whose Everton side lacked penetration. Marouane Fellaini had a day to forget and Moyes was also critical of himself after he became frustrated with the prospect of a stalemate and opted to replace Steven Naismith with Kevin Mirallas to give Everton a greater attacking threat.It nearly worked but Fellaini failed to convert Mirallas's centre and Albion went straight down the other end and scored through Long before Gareth McAuley headed a second. Moyes, however, refused to be downbeat. "We've had two of our games away from home, so six points [out of a possible nine] isn't a bad return," the Everton manager said.Albion's start has been even better and Clarke could be forgiven for thinking he has silenced those who doubted whether he was up to the job. "There's still a long way to go. We are not getting carried away," he said."People are entitled to their opinion. The one thing I'd say is it's a bit unfair to say this group of players would struggle in the Premier League. The last two seasons they have had 47 points and finished 11th and 10th."
Man of the match Jonas Olsson (WBA)
WEST BROM 2 - EVERTON 0: COOL STEVE CLARKE BRINGS ABOUT SEA CHANGE
Monday September 3,2012
By John Wragg (Express)
THE Mary Rose was lifted to the surface in 1982 after 437 years at the bottom of the sea. It has not taken West Bromwich Albion quite that long to become the third-best team in the country again, it just feels that way.The last time was on October 9, 1982 when Cyrille Regis and Gary Owen scored in a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest and the Baggies rose to third in the old First Division. Steve Clarke, in only the third game of his managerial career, has now done what 17 others failed to do and his players were full of praise following the victory over Everton.Gareth McAuley, who scored West Brom’s second goal against David Moyes’ in-form side, said: “ He has been a No2 for a lot of years, and has a lot of experience, especially at a very high level. It has been a pleasure working with him.“Things have been going well and hopefully that can continue and we can all develop together.” Shane Long, the scorer of the first Albion goal , revealed that Clarke has become known for his rousing dressing-room speeches. He said: “ Before the games he says a few words of wisdom and gets us up for it.“Churchillian? Let’s say he gives a speech. I don’t want to give too much away.”Peter Odemwingie, the West Brom striker, added: “He did it in the first game and before the season he spoke about the whole season.“A few minutes before the game he tries to raise your spirits. The words that came out are that we have to believe and really go for it. Mostly, it’s about confidence and belief.“He says that as a team we are strong and shouldn’t be afraid.”Everton also had the chance to revive former glories if they had won this game.
The last occasion that they had taken three points from each of their opening three league games was in 1994 when Howard Kendall was in charge.But Marouane Fellaini, so effective in previous games this season, was poor. If he had put away a good chance, that had manager Moyes in anguish on the touchline, it is unlikely Long would have scored a minute later. Everton lacked finishing power, allowing Clarke to look forward to extending his side’s superb start in a run of games against Fulham, Reading, Aston Villa and QPR.Everton, meanwhile, are seeking confirmation from FIFA that the last-ditch loan signing of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe beat last Friday’s transfer deadline.The Club Brugge midfielder, 23, is a Belgium international and would link up with countrymen Kevin Mirallas and Fellaini.
West Brom (4-5-1): Foster 6; Reid 6 (Jones 52, 6), McAuley 7, Olsson 7, Ridgewell 7; Dorrans 7 (Odemwingie 57, 6), Yacob 7, Morrison 8, Mulumbu 7, Fortune 6; Long 7 (Brunt 75, 5). Booked: Reid. Goals: Long 65, McAuley 82.
Everton (4-4-2): Howard 6; Neville 6 (Anichebe 73, 5), Jagielka 6, Distin 7, Baines 6; Naismith 6 (Mirallas, 62, 5), Gibson 5 (Hibbert 20, 5), Osman 6, Pienaar 7; Jelavic 5, Fellani 5. Booked: Hibbert, Naismith, Distin, Neville, Fellani.
Referee: J Moss ( West Yorks).west brom 2
Clarke learns from the best as team talk does the job for West Brom
By Neil Moxley
(Mail) 3rd September 2012
Steve Clarke has been an interested spectator in plenty of top dressing rooms.Jose Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit and Gianfranco Zola have all said their piece while the assistant has deferred to the main man. But the West Bromwich head coach now appears to have found his own voice, presiding over the club's best start since Ron Atkinson's class of 1978.
Man with a plan: Steve Clarke's West Brom side took apart Everton on Saturday Shane Long, who tapped in Peter Odemwingie's low cross for the opener, gave an insight into Clarke's managerial methods when he said: 'Before each match, he has said a few words of wisdom. 'Apart from that he's quiet, so when he does raise his voice, you listen.' Odemwingie added: 'It's mostly about confidence and belief. About being strong and fearless.' This was always likely to be a tight affair, but there was a gripe from Everton that Marouane Fellaini had not been protected by referee Jon Moss.'People are going to try to stop him playing,' said Leon Osman. 'Usually we have found ways round it, but apart from the first half an hour, we couldn't really operate.' Chris Brunt laid on the second for Gareth McAuley eight minutes from time.
West Brom 2 Everton 0 – match report
Express & Star
September 3, 2012
Albion extended their superb start to the Steve Clarke era as they defeated in-form Everton with a fine second half at The Hawthorns. Shane Long and Gareth McAuley were on target as the Baggies reached the international break unbeaten in four games under new boss Clarke. Clarke’s men have seven points from their opening three Premier League games after a fully-deserved maximum against the Toffees, who had won both their previous games. The first half was a cagey affair and it took 18 minutes for the first incident of note to occur when Nikica Jelavic went down under a challenge by Claudio Yacob. Everton asked for a penalty but referee Jonathan Moss dismissed their appeals and replays showed the Baggies man had got a toe to the ball. Just before the half-hour Albion had the best chance of the half when a cross from the left by Liam Ridgewell found Shane Long six yards out but the Irishman failed to direct his header correctly and the ball crashed against the crossbar. Marouane Fellaini and Jelavic both had headed chances for Everton but Fellaini found the roof of Foster’s net and Jelavic sent his effort straight at Ben Foster. And in the final minute of the half the Baggies had another superb chance when Sylvain Distin misplaced a headed under pressure from Shane Long. It was pounced upon by James Morrison, who burst into the box and into the clear, but he was denied by an excellent Howard save. Albion started the second half brightly but it was the Toffees who had two decent early chances, both of which fell to Fellaini.
First he sent a shot wide under pressure from Jonas Olsson as Albion screamed for an offside flag.
And moments later the Belgian missed a glorious opportunity, skying a shot from the edge of the area after a dangerous Everton break. But the Baggies went ahead on 65 minutes with a move of real quality from the back involving Billy Jones, Youssouf Mulumbu and Liam Ridgewell.
Ridgewell found substitute Peter Odemwingie, who burst down the left and delivered a fine low cross that was turned in by Long from close range. And it was 2-0 with eight minutes remaining thanks to a goal made in Northern Ireland. Substitute Chris Brunt swung in a corner from the right and international team-mate McAuley headed home at the near post.
West Brom 2 Everton 0
By GRAEME BRYCE
ast Updated: 03rd September 2012
Not since 1978 and the days of big Ron Atkinson, Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham, kipper ties and Afro haircuts have West Brom had it this good. Not bad going for a novice manager with a handful of games under his belt after several years as a No 2. You have to wonder how many chairmen around the country are kicking themselves right now for allowing the 49-year-old Scot to serve such a long apprenticeship. Second-half goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley left Albion sitting pretty in third place. So much for those who feared Clarke had an impossible act to follow when he was asked to step into Roy Hodgson’s loafers this summer. Tenth place was as good as it gets for West Brom, the argument went. Obviously it is early days but the signs are encouraging that Clarke may not just be content to continue Roy’s good work. He may even be able to take it on to the next level and have a tilt at Europe if his players’ confidence continues to surge. Clarke said: “Despite how it looks, management isn’t easy. “It’s been a good start. When you looked at the games we had — against Liverpool, Spurs and Everton — you thought it would be difficult. “But seven points from nine is a good start and gives us something to build on.” In truth, for an hour there was not much to choose between two teams who had blistered out of the blocks this season. Then, as often happens, the outcome was decided in a 60-second spurt. Marouane Fellaini fluffed his big chance, then Long buried his. From then on there was only going to be one winner as West Brom completed a devastating double over both sides of Merseyside. The moments of truth came after 64 minutes when Everton’s £6million sub Kevin Mirallas, just on for Steven Naismith, almost caught West Brom on the hop. Mirallas charged at Liam Ridgewell and fired over a low cross which fell perfectly for his fellow Belgian Fellaini. But the big midfielder got his shot horribly wrong and fired harmlessly over.
That miss proved costly because West Brom went straight up the park and Long showed him how it should be done. Ridgewell fed Peter Odemwingie down the left and the Nigerian delivered a perfect cross. Long burst ahead of Everton’s hesitant defenders to slam the ball past Tim Howard to open the scoring. Everton did not take it lying down and Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville and Fellaini were all booked within five minutes as the Toffees tried to assert themselves again. But Albion are no soft touches these days as Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob showed they are not exactly shrinking violets. The Congolese midfielder cracked in a ferocious shot which Howard spectacularly touched over with eight minutes remaining. But, from James Morrison’s corner, McAuley got away from Fellaini and powered home his header. Gutted Everton boss David Moyes admitted he had probably been a bit gung-ho at 0-0 when he sent the tricky Mirallas on for the more workmanlike Naismith.
Moyes said: “I made a change to try and go for it because I thought we weren’t doing enough to score and, in opening up, we actually conceded a goal from it. “I probably should have stayed the way we were but I just wanted to try and win the game. “I thought for probably the first hour we had good control of the match but we didn’t do well enough in the final third today and that was the reason we didn’t win. “We hardly crossed it, we hardly passed it well. But that’s great credit to West Brom — they played well.” Moyes confessed Fellaini’s miss was a key moment.
He added: “The first goal in the Premier League is usually vital. If we had got that then West Brom would have had to come out. “They sat in and let us try to make the play, which we didn’t do.”
Perhaps Fellaini was still confused at missing the start of the second half. He was sent back indoors to take off a pair of white ankle socks which clashed with Everton’s blue. Under new rules he had to remove them in case anyone was confused who the 6ft 5in Belgian with the crazy hairdo belonged to.
West Brom: Foster, Reid (Jones 52), Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell, Yacob, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Odemwingie 57),Long (Brunt 75), Fortune. Subs Not Used: Myhill, Rosenberg, Gera, Dawson.
Goals: Long 65, McAuley 82.
Everton: Howard, Neville (Anichebe 73), Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Gibson (Hibbert 20), Naismith (Mirallas 62), Pienaar,Fellaini, Jelavic. Subs Not Used: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Coleman.
Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).
Everton U21 0 Arsenal U21
03th September 2012
EVERTON: Taudul, Browning, Garbutt, Lundstram, Hammar, Pennington, Green (Long 85), Barkley, Hope, Gueye, Kelly(Jones 55) SUBS: Springhtorpe, Forrester, Touray
ARSENAL: Shea, Bellerin, Angha, Eastmond, Monteiro, Miquel, Eisfeld(Ebecili 58), Yennaris, Watt, Aneke, Meade SUBS: Vickers, Bihmoutine, Olsson, Neita
GOALS: Jernade Meade(Pen 46) Watt(Pen) Ebecilio
Additional: First Penalty Conceded by Browning, Second by Taudul
Everton FC: Teenage winger Matthew Kennedy says he’s ‘living the dream’ after signing for Blues
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Sep 4 2012
KILMARNOCK boss Kenny Shiels claimed Everton FC had “pickled” the mind of talented young teenage winger Matthew Kennedy. A series of excited tweets, however, seem to show that the 17-year-old starlet is loving the adventure of his move to Merseyside after signing for the Blues on transfer deadline day for £250,000. And he can’t wait to get started at Finch Farm and follow in the footsteps of compatriots like Steven Naismith. Pictured in the back of a car holding up his Everton shirt, a cut-price copy of the DVD ‘Big Match Revisited – Everton’ at his feet, he declared: “Y’all know what this is #livingthedream.” After a series of welcoming messages from fans he added: “Moving To Liverpool Tomorrow #EvertonBound #scousers” and “Buzzin to see what the cracks like in Liverpool.. #everton.” Naismith’s arrival at Goodison earlier in the summer is particularly timely for the youngster, with both players having started their development at Rugby Park, home of Kilmarnock. “It feels brilliant to be an Everton player because it’s a massive, massive team,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve followed in Naismith’s footsteps. He started at Kilmarnock as well so it’s good for myself to follow in his footsteps. “I’ve watched him since I was a young boy, since I was about 10. I’ve always watched him and I think he’s brilliant. “I can’t wait to move down and get started now.” Like Naismith, Kennedy is a wide player, but a spate of injuries at Kilmarnock saw him forced into an auxiliary striker’s role and he flourished with a series of impressive pre-season performances earning him a place in Killie’s Scottish Premier League line-up for the start of the new season.
“I’m an attacking player and I like to take players on,” said Kennedy. “I can lose the ball at times but I like to take players on and create a lot of chances. “I got my opportunity as a striker because of injuries but the gaffer said I took my chance. I was the top scorer in pre-season for Kilmarnock so that was brilliant. “Now obviously I’ve come here and it’s not just Scousers and English lads, there are people from back home who can support me and bring me on as a player.”
After returning to Scotland following his transfer on Friday, Kennedy arrived back on Merseyside yesterday but was not pitched straight into Alan Stubbs’ under-21s side for last night’s game at Arsenal. Instead, the youngster was given more time to settle and put a whirlwind week behind him. He added: “I first found out before pre-season (about Everton’s interest) but it was nothing serious. It wasn’t until the last week that there’s been more and more interest. “I got up on Friday morning, went to training, didn’t know what was going on, didn’t think I was going to be an Everton player by the end of the day. But it’s brilliant for myself to get it over and done with and I can’t wait to get started now.”
Everton FC: Steven Pienaar out of South Africa squad with thigh strain
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Sep 4 2012
STEVEN PIENAAR has joined Everton FC team-mate Darron Gibson on the international sidelines.
The South Africa skipper has withdrawn from his country’s friendly matches against Brazil and Mozambique with a thigh strain. Pienaar completed the 90 minutes of Everton’s 2-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion but will miss the trip to Sao Paulo on Friday and then the clash with Mozambique in Nelspruit, South Africa the following Tuesday. Everton’s next game is against Newcastle United on Monday, September 17. Midfielder Gibson is also nursing a thigh strain, although his problem is more concerning after the Irishman was forced to limp off just 20 minutes into the Hawthorns match. The pair will both receive treatment at Finch Farm. But Gibson’s international exile has nothing to do with his injury. The Everton midfielder refused to take part in this Friday’s qualifier in Kazakhstan, and the friendly that follows against Oman four days later, as he is still suffering from the disappointment of being completely overlooked during Euro 2012. Gibson has put in a series of fine displays since moving to Everton in January, but the former Manchester United man was left disillusioned when he did not make it off the bench during Euro 2012. Trapattoni said yesterday that he respects Gibson’s decision, but also insisted that the Republic will be able to cope fine without him should his self-imposed exile continue. “In the past we were frightened about missing players, but now we already have a squad,” Trapattoni said. “He can think about it or we go with other players. We have David Meyler, Marc Wilson, then there is Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy.
"All can play (in midfield), and coming back we also have (Keith) Andrews. “When we come here, if there are players who are not coming, we build the other team. “We have been watching also new players, maybe we will discover a new Irish player. He has to decide whether he wants to play or not.” Leighton Baines, meanwhile, is set to win his 10th England cap after Ashley Cole was ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifier with Moldova. England boss Roy Hodgson has named three left-backs in his 24 man squad for Friday’s clash, including Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand, but Baines will be favourite to step in.
Ian Snodin: Everton FC are well set, but the Premier League looks well balanced this season
Sep 4 2012
IT PUTS Everton’s result against West Brom into perspective when you have a look at what’s been happening in the Premier League this season. Newcastle, Tottenham and Liverpool haven’t managed a win between them, Arsenal only scored their first goal of the season on Sunday, and both Manchester clubs have been given some right tough games so far. It looks a well-balanced league. Every club is putting up a fight, and surprises are happening on a weekly basis.
It will take ten games or so for things to settle, as new signings find their feet and so on. We will have a better idea of where everyone stands then. The good thing for Everton is that they have assembled a squad that can really cope with the rigours of Premier League and cup football.
I said last week that I would like a left-back in as cover for Leighton Baines, and Moyesy must read this column! Bryan Oviedo is an unknown quantity, but the manager clearly rates him, and he provides a good option in more than one position, which is always nice to have.
We needed back up for if Leighton or Pienaar got injured, and we have got it. Anthony Ojidje-Ofoa – I’ll have some fun with that name I’m sure – has also come in on loan.
Ian Snodin: Everton FC defeat to West Brom was disappointing, but there is no need to be too downhearted
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Sep 4 2012
I AM sure there were a lot of people who had exactly the same thoughts as me as they watched Everton FC go down to a surprisingly flat defeat at West Bromwich Albion. I thought “isn’t that typical of football?”. Just as you start to get a bit of optimism, a bit of expectation together, the game pops up and kicks you back down again. It was a very disappointing day for Everton, and one which will have surprised many. David Moyes has had his side in top gear at the start of this season, but for whatever reason they just didn’t perform at The Hawthorns. I can take that. These kind of games happen during the course of a season. I have seen some people refer to it as “a reality check” but I think that is a bit harsh. Everton fans are very realistic, they know their level and what their team is capable of. That is why they will be particularly disappointed to see their side turn in such an underwhelming display. Unfortunately, we just had too many players playing below their best on Saturday. Marouane Fellaini missed two good chances to put us ahead, before Shane Long scored for them. If they go in, it’s a different game, but the Belgian wasn’t really at it throughout.
He wasn’t the only one. I am told Steven Pienaar told Twitter – a pet hate of mine, by the way – that he had put in his worst display for the club. And while that’s harsh, it shows that he cares, and I think Evertonians will allow him a bad day. I was terrible when we had lost a game.
For 48 hours I would mope about, I must have been murder to be around after a bad result.
But once you go back into work on the Monday, your mood changes, your focus shifts. Everton have 14 days until their next Premier League date, with Newcastle, due to the international break, and I would suggest that may be a source of frustration for Moyesy. He would have wanted a midweek game, get back out there and put things right straight away. As it is, his players will stew on the result and hopefully be raring to go when Newcastle head to town. That said, sometimes you have to hold your hands up and admit the better side won. I wouldn’t like to take anything away from West Brom. They were superb, and have had a fantastic start to the season themselves.
When you think they’ve faced Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton in their opening three games, you have to say they have done phenomenally well to have seven points. Steve Clarke will be delighted.
As for Everton, well I know David will be pretty pleased with two wins from three, given the fixtures, and I think that is more than fair. We’ve been allowed to enjoy our wins so far this season, so we shouldn’t be too disheartened by one defeat, however disappointing it was in the end.
Scotland are ready to deliver, says Everton’s Steven Naismith
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Sep 5 2012
STEVEN NAISMITH believes Scotland are in their best shape since Craig Levein took over as manager as they aim to kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign with maximum points at Hampden Park.
The Scots play host to Serbia on Saturday, before facing Macedonia three days later at the same venue. Everton attacker Naismith is confident the national team is as ready to deliver the goods now as they have been since Levein replaced George Burley at the helm in December 2009.
He said: “Nobody can deny that there has been a lot of progress made from where the national squad was before he took over. We’ve all now had experience in qualifiers. “It’s not as though we are a new squad coming together, we’ve been together for a while now, which goes a long way.
“Now we need to turn it into performances at the qualifying stage, not doing it in friendlies and things like that. “We now need to show that we are capable and that what the manager has been working towards has paid off.” Scotland face a tough group, which also includes Belgium, Wales and Croatia. But Naismith added: “We are confident. “The group we’ve got is going to be tough but we think we can get results. “There is enough experience along with youth in the squad to compete against anybody. “You’ve got to be confident - if you’re not confident, you shouldn’t be in the squad and that’s the bottom line.” “We will go into the game confident and hopefully we can get the three points on Saturday.”
Former Everton FC striker Denis Stracqualursi says playing at Goodison Park was a 'beautiful dream'
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 5 2012
HE WON the respect of his Everton FC team-mates and supporters alike with his ceaseless work-rate and touching eagerness to make a career at Goodison Park. Ultimately, despite a clutch of important goals last season, Denis Stracqualursi fell just short of securing a long-term contract, and was allowed to return to Argentina in May. But the 24-year-old striker – who memorably scored during the 2-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison last term – clearly has no intention of forgetting about his happy spell on Merseyside. “Playing in that stadium was like a beautiful dream and something which I will never forget,” said the forward who has since signed for Argentinean giants San Lorenzo. I will be grateful all my life for the kindness with which I was treated. Some of the nicest things that happened in my life happened there. “The year at Everton was the best year of my career and I will never forget those amazing fans.” Even though he missed out on a permanent deal, Stracqualursi impressed David Moyes and in turn feels he benefited from top-level coaching in the Premier League. “I loved my time there and I enjoyed every single training session,” he explained. “I was surrounded by top, top players who were all really nice guys as well and they all helped me to feel part of the group. “I was also lucky to have a great manager in David Moyes and I learnt so much from him. “He is also a great person and he was always really straight with me and told me exactly what he was thinking. “It was something which was really useful while I was there and something that will really help me in my future career.” Stracqualursi made 28 first-team appearances as the Blues finished seventh in the table and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup.
And he played his part in the cup run, scoring in the earlier rounds against Fulham and Blackpool, before the highlight of that goal against Chelsea and his memorably ecstatic celebration.
“Scoring that goal was the sweetest thing that happened and I felt a huge rush of emotion as a result of all the effort I had put in to reach that moment,” he recalled. “Reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup was fantastic as well and again highly emotional when you consider all the work the squad had put in to get there.” Now Stracqualursi is hoping to be a hit in Buenos Aires with San Lorenzo, although he can’t shake his lingering sadness at securing a permanent Toffees move.
He added: “My ambitions with San Lorenzo are to win the league as it is a massive club in Argentina – and at the same time to score a lot of goals. “It was disappointing [not to stay at Everton] because I had given my all and I would have liked to have stayed there for many years. “I would love to come back to England and even more so to come back to Everton. “The reason is because of all the lovely memories and how well I was treated by the supporters. “My family absolutely loved living in Liverpool. We enjoyed being at the ground and all the people there – it was a great life experience for all of us. “I really love Everton and will always have a soft spot for the place. I send all my best wishes to the club and its supporters for the new season.”
Vincent Kompany praises Everton FC new signing Vadis Odjidja Ofoe
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 5 2012
EVERTON FC will hope Vadis Odjidja Ofoe brings his growing sense of maturity to Goodison once his Merseyside loan move is approved. The 23-year-old midfielder will come highly recommended should FIFA green-light his £1m switch today, after drawing praise from Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany last week. Kompany has played alongside Odjidja-Ofoe for the Belgian national team and Hamburg, and after it emerged David Moyes had swooped late on Friday, he tweeted: ‘Everton fans might not even know it but their club has done an incredible bit of business. Vadis Odjija is a top player, mark my words’. Moyes has been aware of the six-foot tall midfielder for some time, as an avowed admirer of Belgium’s shining crop of young players, and Ofoe would be the third member of that golden generation to sign for Everton after Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas. But the Blues boss will also be keen to ensure that Ofoe continues to mature, after his early career has been marred by accusations of an attitude-problem and inability to settle at a club.
Everton would be the Gent-born player’s fourth club at the age of just 23, and he struggled to adapt the first time he left Belgium in a high-profile move to Hamburg, although by his own admission he has grown up since. “I told myself to put all side projects aside,” he told Club Brugge’s website about his preparations for last season. “I worked hard, and my focus was 100% on football, and it paid off. “Physically, I feel better this season, I recover more quickly; feel less tired during games and training sessions. Maybe I was putting too much energy in the things that weren’t all that important. Because I had trouble handling criticism. “Because I wasn’t entirely living for my career like I do now. The things I now handle differently are not earth shattering, you know. Just getting to bed on time or minding my diet more efficiently. “I’ll never become thin, but I did work on my weight. The only think I gained was muscles. I have also read that many people, also close to me, reckon I have grown more mature this season. I guess that must be the right conclusion.”
If he can maintain that maturity, Ofoe could be a huge asset for the Blues. Primarily a defensive midfielder, has been nominated for the Jupiler Pro Player of the Year while at Brugge, and has scored 12 times in 100 games since 2009. He also has the ability to flourish further upfield, and can drive from box to box with the ball - a trait Moyes tried to add to his team with his ambitious move for Michael Essien last Friday. “It’s only logical that I can play more directly forward,” Ofoe said. “Self-confidence plays its part too, of course. Making an action leading to the first goal in our home game against AA Gent, getting past five opponents that can only happen when you feel sure of yourself as a player. “It doesn’t matter that much to me where in midfield I play. That certainly hasn’t made a difference to me, and I have no trouble playing a bit higher or lower at times”.
Should he join the Blues this week, Ofoe has an opportunity to prove himself in one of the top leagues in the world. If he finds the focus and maturity to do that, Moyes could find that the deal he attempted to push through the wire last Friday will have been truly worth the hassle.
Big things expected of Everton FC signing Bryan Oviedo, says Costa Rican journalist
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 5 2012
WHEN HE shot to fame in Costa Rica he was nicknamed El Gallo, ‘The Rooster’, because of his flashy hair-style – but Bryan Oviedo was sporting a more toned-down image when he arrived at Everton last week. Signed primarily as cover for Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar on the left flank, the 22-year-old is aware he will have to bide his time if he wants to be star of the Goodison flock.
Maybe he knows there is only room for one iconic hair-cut at Finch Farm with Marouane Fellaini’s ‘fro the biggest show in town, but those who have watched his career develop back home predict it will not take him long to catch the attention of Evertonians. The £2m signing from FC Copenhagen is one of a generation of bright young things in Central America, and shone for his country in the 2009 U20 World Cup before going on to become a regular for the full senior side. And with his wholesome image and exciting skills making him a hero in his home capital San Jose, Costa Rican journalist Esteban Valverde, of Al Dia newspaper, expects big things. “In Costa Rica the people thinks that Bryan is a great player,” says Esteban. “He played very well in the World Cup U20 in 2009, when Costa Rica won the third place, and this generation of players are heroes.
“He never had a social scandal, so when it comes to the national team he is one of the most respected and loved. “Also, Bryan always delivers 100% when he plays, which is essential if you want the fans of Costa Rica to appreciate you.” Esteban believes Oviedo’s attacking prowess is his major asset, but warns he will have to work on the defensive side of his game in England.
“His strengths are definitely speed, power, and getting forward,” he says. “He’s good in the one versus one situation, passes nicely and has a great shot with his left leg. “Defensively he adheres to a system and is good but sometimes he does not go back quickly enough when he has gone forward and he must work on his heading, and distribution with his right foot too.” Esteban believes Everton’s matches will become suddenly more popular in Costa Rica this season.
“People will be keen to see on TV when Bryan plays games,” he says. “In our country, football is the main sport, and with this step to Everton, Bryan will be followed every weekend, especially when you have big games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
“I think it will be similar as when Bryan Ruiz plays for Fulham and the whole country cheers him on in the matches. “Bryan came very young to San Jose to play for Deportivo Saprissa, so his life in San Carlos was quiet. “A big test for him was becoming a father. In Al Día we interviewed his wife and she said Bryan is actually an excellent husband and father, he taught her how to change the diaper, and bathe their one-year-old Frederick who was born in Denmark.” Blues legend Graeme Sharp believes the added level of competition represented by signings like Oviedo’s is good news. “I think the 14 or 15 players we had are top quality but there’s always the worry that there could be injuries and I think it was important the manager could strengthen his squad,” he said. “I think the players he’s brought in have certainly done that and I’m looking forward to seeing them. “Now there’s competition for places and that’s what every manager says they strive for - a big squad where nobody can rest on their laurels.” Oviedo, who will be hoping to win his 18th international cap against Mexico on Friday, and Sharp added: “I think it was important that we got cover in that area.“Sylvain Distin and Phil Neville can both do a job there but if you’ve got somebody who’s naturally left-footed who can play in that position and is comfortable in that position, that’s what you want, and I think that’s a good piece of business from the manager. “Over the years Leighton Baines has hardly missed a game, he’s so consistent. But I think every now and then you need somebody to come in when needed and be there to step up, and I’m sure Oviedo will be able to do that.”
Sylvain Distin delighted at Everton FC squad depth - as Blues hope for green-light to sign Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe today
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 5 2012
SYLVAIN DISTIN has welcomed the added competition provided by Everton FC’s busy summer in the transfer market – as the Blues hope for the green-light to add Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe to their ranks today. The veteran central defender is delighted at the new faces which have helped boost a small Toffees squad, and it is hoped that Fifa will not present any late objection to the arrival of another by rubber-stamping the £1m loan swoop for 23-year-old Ofoe. Everton agreed a season-long switch for the Club Brugge midfielder late on transfer deadline day, but the deal was not finalised before the 11pm cut-off point so became subject to extra scrutiny. That meant having to wait until today, or tomorrow at the latest, to formalise the deal, and Ofoe has remained at Brugge where he has been training alone. Ofoe would be Everton’s sixth summer signing after the recent £5.3m capture of Kevin Mirallas alongside Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar, Bryan Oviedo and the 17-year-old Kilmarnock winger Matthew Kennedy. And Distin says it has given the whole camp a lift. “That is what we want,” he said. “We want our team to get better and for there to be more competition between the players. “When you see new players coming in you know everything is moving in the right direction. It’s a bit early to say this is the best squad during my time here, but I rarely remember the squad having so much quality.” Distin is particularly pleased at the arrival of £2m left-sided defender and midfielder Oviedo, who can provide cover for Leighton Baines – something Distin was called upon to do for three games last term. He added: “I think left-back is a position where we never had anyone to really cover for Bainsey if he had a problem, which hopefully won’t happen because he stays so fit and is such a great player. “But you never know, and now we have got someone who can play in this position which is good because (last season) it was a bit much for my old legs.”
Everton FC letters: Blues regain momentum after West Brom blip
Sep 6 2012
ALAN HANSEN stated after the FA Cup semi-final that David Moyes has taken Everton as far as could. And based on Saturday’s lamentable performance he is very much vindicated. Moyes cannot under any circumstances let loyalty get in the way of progress and he must be pragmatic in dropping players who do not deliver the required level of performance. Hopefully, this game will be a blip come the end of the season, but it is essential the Toffees re-group and regain the momentum which was fully evident in the first two matches of the campaign. But a worrying statistic of the WBA game was that six of the players starting were over 30. The likes of Magaye Gueye, Vellios and Oviedo, need to be given as much exposure to the first team, to give more pace and movement.
Alex Ferguson has hinted Everton tend to be too direct in the attacking play. To a certain extent he has a point, but Everton do play better football when Heitinga is at the back, who utilises the midfield more regularly, as opposed to Jagielka. The Toffees will improve, but consistency is a prerequisite to get into the top five.
WE can’t have any complaints with the result against West Brom. They deserved the win and were the better side on the day. We just need to make sure we step it back up for the home game against Newcastle and carry on what has been a good start to the season for us.
VADIS ODJIDJA-OFOE is supposedly a better talent than Mirallas and Fellaini, and he was also tipped to replace Dembele at Fulham. Lets hope Moyes has unearthed another gem.
I JUST love the way David Moyes can find hungry, unknown players, with ability, and develop them into class players. Something is really starting to feel right again at EFC.
I DON’T blame Darron Gibson one bit for not wanting to play for Ireland.
Watching them in the Euros was painful. The two hatchetmen in the centre (Whelan and Andrews) did a grand total of nothing throughout the entire tournament and Gibson didn’t even get off the bench. Trappatoni must be going senile in his old age to think he’s got a better option at centre midfield than Gibbo.
WELCOME to the People’s Club Matthew Kennedy. You are following in the footsteps of some great Scottish legends to this great club of ours, but I’m sure if you get your head down and work hard it wont be long before you are one of them. Dodgecitycowboy
Everton FC defender Leighton Baines eager to step into the England limelight in Moldova tomorrow.
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 6 2012
EVERTON FC defender Leighton Baines has no problem living in Ashley Cole’s shadow – but he is eager to step into the England limelight himself in Moldova tomorrow. Cole’s hopes of becoming the first full-back to make a century of England appearances during this month’s World Cup double-header have been dashed by the ankle injury that has prevented him making the trip to Chisinau.
It means finally, two and a half years after making his debut, Baines will get to start a competitive game for the first time. Yet the Everton man knows his place is only temporary. If Cole recovers in time for the visit of Ukraine to Wembley on Tuesday, Baines will be straight out of the team.
It is not something Baines’ competitive instincts let him willingly accept. But the 27-year-old is aware enough to realise why the natural order has Cole at the top. “Ashley has been fantastic over the years,” he said. “It has been difficult for anyone to get a look in. “The main thing, for club and country, is his consistency. “He is one of the first names on the team sheet because he is such a reliable performer. He is an eight out of 10 minimum every week. “We often depend on him.”
And though Baines, and Ryan Bertrand amongst others, are in direct competition, they can learn from the 31-year-old. “He is someone, for the rest of us, for Ryan and myself and Kieran Gibbs, who is not in the squad but is a young left-back coming through, to look at and try to learn from.” Baines has been regarded as Cole’s deputy for almost all those 30 months. However he was left out of the World Cup squad by Fabio Capello amid claims comments made about suffering homesickness had been misinterpreted. As Capello never actually asked Baines about them or offered any kind of explanation why, after starting two pre-tournament friendlies, he was axed from the provisional squad in favour of Stephen Warnock, who had not featured for a minute, the former Kirkby-born defender can offer no insight. It would not be out of keeping for Capello though, who ran a somewhat austere ship, where communication was kept to a minimum. The Italian’s successor is not like that. “There is a shift in mentality,” said Baines. “When you are around the place you are more relaxed and enjoy each other’s company a bit more. “Maybe it was a bit stiffer before that.
“It is difficult to make direct comparisons but Roy has had a positive influence.
“He is an English manager, so it is a lot easier for him to get his points across to the players.
“Now he has more time with the squad it has given him more chance to implement those ideas.
“Hopefully you will see that out on the pitch.”
Baines’ push for England Everton FC form can aid Leighton
By Ian Doyle
Sep 6 2012 Daily Post
LEIGHTON BAINES is determined to take his chance for England this week – and remains convinced he can realise his international ambitions while at Everton FC. With first-choice left-back Ashley Cole sidelined through an ankle injury, Baines is expected to line-up for his country in their opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova tomorrow. Remarkably, the 27-year-old has yet to make a competitive start for his country despite having made his debut back in March 2010 and been part of the squad for Euro 2012. The Everton defender’s seven international starts, the most recent of which came in the win over Italy in Berne last month, have all come in friendly matches.
And of being given an opportunity in a competitive match, Baines said: “It doesn’t feel that different but, for me, it’s playing for England which is something I don’t get to do that often or as often as I’d like. “So, when you do get a chance, even if it’s in a friendly, they are as important as the other games so it doesn’t feel that different the fact it’s a qualifier.” Cole may yet recover from his injury in time for the second match of England’s qualifying double header at Wembley against Ukraine on Tuesday. And Baines – who could be joined by Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka in the starting XI against Moldova – admits it will be tough to permanently dislodge the Chelsea man.
“For me, personally, you have to believe (you can stay in the team),” he said. “Hopefully if I get the chance to play then I can do well enough for that to be a possibility. It’s difficult because of what Ash brings to the table and for me it’s just going to be one or two games really.” With Everton sidestepping their usual slow start to the season, confidence is high among David Moyes’s squad despite last weekend’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
And Baines believes the Goodison outfit’s continued improvement can help bolster his international career. “You want to get to the highest level you can and I keep doing my best in the hope that that comes,” he said. “The main thing in football at club level is the Champions League which is always going to be an aim and an ambition and if you can do that it strengthens your chances at international level as well. “That’s one of the main ones and obviously to win a trophy at some point. We’ve had a couple of good cup runs at Everton. We lost in a cup final a few years ago and lost in a semi-final to Liverpool so we know it’s not beyond us.” While Manchester United were linked in some quarters with a move for Baines during the transfer window, there was no official interest in the player from Old Trafford. And Baines said: “I’ve never been one to rock the boat, I appreciate the position I’m in in life and I love what I do. At the same time you do have to have that ambition because it doesn’t last long and, before you know it, it will be over. “The ambition for Everton is to finish as high as we can and if we can build on what we’ve done so far we have a chance of getting back towards European football.” Baines added: “Over the last few seasons, we’ve tended to lose one of our assets each summer, whether it be Joleon, Mikel Arteta when he left, Steven Pienaar and whoever else. “This season we’ve not only managed to keep the squad together but we’ve added really good players to it. “Not only in this window but in January as well. Darron Gibson, Jelavic, Pienaar has come back to us as well.”
LEIGHTON BAINES: I'LL BE ENGLAND'S MINI DRIVER
I get on great with Ash because we rub shoulders in there
6th September 2012
By David Woods
Scouse comedian Ken Dodd made the mythical little people from Knotty Ash famous. Everton star Baines plays just six miles down the road on ¬Merseyside. The 5ft 7in star’s ability to stand tall in defence has helped him become an integral ¬member of the England squad under Roy Hodgson.
Tomorrow the full-back is set to make his first competitive start for his country in the ¬opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova, two-and-a-half years after his debut against Egypt. With Ashley Cole – recognised as probably the best left-back in the world – standing in his way, it’s not surprising the Everton man has had to bide his time. But with the Chelsea star ¬injured, Baines now has his chance on the international stage. Not that he has been ¬gloating – because he sees eye-to-eye with Cole on just about ¬everything – literally. “We have a situation in the dressing room when we train,” said Baines. “There are two dressing rooms and there’s a bit of a separate one for midgets. Because we all wear smaller kits, I guess it’s easier for the kit man. I get on great with Ash because we rub shoulders in there. “I end up chatting with him quite a lot and have got to know him well. “The changing room isn’t huge, so to make it more ¬spacious there’s half-a-dozen of us who change right next door.” Cole, 31, has picked up honours galore, including three Premier League titles, a record seven FA Cup winners’ medals, last season’s Champions League and 98 caps. But the Baines cupboard has just an old Second Division ¬winners’ medal, gained with Wigan in 2003. And the 27-year-old, who was a summer target for Manchester United, revealed he still craves success.
He said: “You want to get to the highest level you can, and I keep doing my best in the hope that comes. “The main thing at club level is the Champions League, which is always going to be an aim and an ambition. If you can do that it strengthens your chances at international level. “That’s one of the main ones, and obviously to win a trophy. We’ve had a ¬couple of good cup runs at Everton.
“We lost in a cup final a few years ago and lost a semi-final to Liverpool, so we know it’s not beyond us.” The seemingly laid-back left-back insists he knew nothing about United’s interest and unlike Robin van Persie, who joined the Old Trafford giants from ¬Arsenal, he is not the type to agitate for a move. He added: “I’ve never been one to rock the boat. I ¬appreciate the position I’m in in life and love what I do. “At the same time, you have to have ambition because it doesn’t last long and before you know it, it will be over. “It will be nice, if selected, to play my first competitive game for England. It’s been a while, in and around the squads, picking up appearances or caps here and there, friendlies and whatnot. “It’s been a bit of a slow ¬burner. But I can’t get too ¬frustrated about that when the guy in front of me is such a good player. “I have so much respect for him, for what he’s doing. You just have to bide your time.”
Mark Lawrenson: Liverpool FC fans casting envious glances at Everton FC
Sep 6 2012
IT hasn’t been very often in recent times that Liverpool supporters have cast envious glances across Stanley Park. But there can be no doubt that right now those fans will be wishing their club was as well run as Everton. The Goodison faithful, meanwhile, are right to be made up with how the transfer window has gone. Everton, for once, did their main business early on. The sale of Jack Rodwell allowed Bill Kenwright time to sit down with David Moyes and say ‘this is how much money you’ve got’ and the Everton manager has planned accordingly. I’d suspect deals for both Kevin Mirallas and Bryan Oviedo were lined up a few weeks in advance. Everton would have known what wages the players were demanding and what fees they would command. There’s always a whiff of panic with last-minute buys because the advantage is with the selling club, but I’m pretty sure Everton would have known down to the last penny what they were willing to spend on these players. Everton now have a lot of players and have good cover in most positions. They have the core team, and Moyes has spent the last few weeks strengthening the fringes. Compare this to the situation 12 months ago – people were saying the club was going nowhere and were asking Kenwright where the money had gone. Well, in this transfer window, the answer is most of it has gone back into building the squad. Having said all that, Everton then go and get beat at West Bromwich Albion the following day. It just goes to show that in the Premier League, unless you are playing one of the top, top teams, if you score first then you are normally not going to lose. Afterwards, Moyes said that with the scoreline goalless, he made changes to try and win the game rather than settle for a point. That’s a little bit unlike Moyes. And indeed some supporters would argue he hasn’t done that enough during his tenure. Marouane Fellaini is becoming a marked man after his fine start to the season, and that will take a bit of getting used to. He’s just going to have to learn that if teams are going to man-mark him, he will have to take defenders into areas of the pitch they don’t want to go.
Liverpool law firm advised on Everton FC transfers
by Alan Weston, The Liverpool Post
Sep 6 2012
EVERTON FC were among the clubs to benefit from a city law firm’s expertise during the summer transfer window. Brabners Chaffe Street assisted with the transfers of Steven Pienaar from Tottenham Hotspur, Kevin Mirallas from Olympiakos and Matthew Kennedy from Kilmarnock.
The firm also advised Everton on the sale of England international Jack Rodwell, who made the move to Premier League champions Manchester City; Joseph Yobo, who moved to Fenerbache; and Tim Cahill to US Major League Soccer team New York Red Bulls. The firm’s sports immigration expertise helped with the move of Costa Rican defender Bryan Oviedo from FC Copenhagen to Goodison, while the complicated legal situation involving Scottish side Rangers also led to Brabners advising on the signing of Steven Naismith.
Scotland v Serbia: David Weir’s way is Steven Naismith starting
By ALAN TEMPLE
The Scotsman Thursday 6 September 2012
David Weir, the former Scotland stalwart, believes Everton player Steven Naismith will be pivotal if Craig Levein’s side are to make an auspicious start to World Cup qualifying against Serbia.
The 25-year-old has settled in seamlessly to life at Goodison Park since leaving Rangers for the Premiership side during the summer, already making four competitive appearances for the Toffees.
Weir, now a coach at Everton, has been impressed by the player’s impact south of the Border, and has backed the former Rangers and Kilmarnock man to take his form on to the international stage.
He said: “He has fitted in straight away. He has come into the club and hit the ground running, scoring a hat-trick in pre-season against AEK Athens, and he has been in the team ever since. Everybody is hugely happy with him. “I would certainly start him on Saturday, although, of course, the manager picks the team. I don’t think Steven has ever struggled for confidence, and by coming to Everton he has shown his quality.” As one of Craig Levein’s most potent attacking weapons, Naismith is expected to add to his 16 caps at the weekend against Serbia before facing Macedonia three days later. And Weir believes the Irvine-born forward, who netted against World and European champions Spain at Hampden in 2010, has already shown he is the man for the big occasion. He added: “I think we all know the quality he has got,
and some of his international performances have been top class, playing well against the likes of the Netherlands and Spain.
“Sometimes, being Scottish, we talk ourselves down and talk everyone else up, but we have good players in Scotland, and we always have done.”
Everton FC jury: Blues fans on those last minute transfer deals and the West Brom game
Sep 6 2012
DARROCH MACKIE, Chester
WITH three more signings and no out-goings before the transfer window closed Evertonians travelled to the Hawthorns in high spirits, looking to build on an impressive start to the season.
We were abruptly brought back down to earth. I thought we started the game well enough, having a lot of possession and looking relatively in control. That was until Gibson was injured. Given such an encouraging start it was perhaps disappointing that Moyes wasn’t more attack minded when replacing Gibson. Mirallas coming on and Fellaini playing deeper was a definite option. As it was Hibbert came on with Neville being pushed into midfield. From then on West Brom dominated and could have been one up by half time. We did have a golden opportunity to take the lead, Fellaini missing a sitter from eight yards out. Two minutes later WBA scored, adding a soft second goal late on to complete a deserved victory.
SAM CARROLL, Walton
SATURDAY morning and life was rosy for us Evertonian’s. Instead of being left behind in the transfer market and making hurried signings - or none at all- we had bought and sold wisely throughout August, and we now have a squad ready to push for Europe. However, the result against West Brom created something of a metaphorical sun-shower for the fans, as we genuinely expected another victory to celebrate. And even though that victory ultimately never materialised, it should not dampen the spirits of the players, nor the fans. Everton are in one of the strongest positions they have been in for a long time, and the team across the park are, undeniably, looking at us with green-eyed envy. Evertonian’s had got used to that winning feeling during the first two weeks of the season, and now we want it back. For the first autumn in years, we have the right squad – now we need the right results.
MATT JONES, Prenton
AFTER such an excellent start to the season, a positive result would have been particularly welcome before the international break. But you can’t win them all I suppose! Six points from a possible nine is something we all would have taken however. The side never seemed to recover after the injured Darron Gibson was replaced early on. From then on, our midfield lacked the balance that has been so evident in recent weeks. and resultantly we were unable to stamp our authority on the game as we did at Villa Park. Nonetheless, I feel it is still a game that could have gone either way. On reflection, we created some good opportunities and were wasteful. West Brom, to their credit, were not. I think it is to Darron Gibson’s acclaim that he was so sorely missed. He has been excellent since his arrival, proving to be a perfect foil for Fellaini and an all round steadying influence. Hopefully, the two weeks before our next outing is sufficient enough time for him and Steven Pienaar to recover from their respective injuries. At the end of an excellent transfer window, there is still plenty to be positive about. We need to regroup and refocus before our next match, a very winnable game against Newcastle.”
DAVE TAYLOR, St Helens
IT wouldn’t be Everton if they didn’t give us a dose of reality now and again, after the successful transfer window and great start to the season the defeat to WBA was somewhat inevitable!
Credit where it’s due, WBA stuck to a very effective game plan to target who they saw as our main threats with their conscientious team full of running from front to back. The frustration was evident amongst our most important players which culminated in Fellaini fluffing his lines with the goal at his mercy; a combination of Olsson, Reid and the referee had done a job on him. Despite the loss I am sure the excellent business in the transfer window will help confidence and competition for places continue on its recent upward curve. All the signings look ready and able to start games which will keep the old guard on their toes.
Bluewatch: Nic Davies on Everton FC's start to the season
by Our Correspondent, The Liverpool Post
Sep 6 2012
SATURDAY’S trip to the Hawthorns was excruciating to watch as the Baggies mercilessly beat us at our own game to inflict our first defeat of the season as an excellent week for the Toffees ended in frustration. WBA's rigid defensive shape with two narrow banks of four in close proximity - an almost military tactic bestowed by former boss Roy Hodgson - proved impenetrable despite us having more final third possession and more passes and touches in WBA’s penalty box than they did in ours. Moyes’ strategy was the same one adopted in last season’s corresponding fixture; keep it tight for 60 minutes and then go for the win. Sadly, in his attempts to get the three points we lost our trademark defensive frugality and the Baggies were able to get the goals required.
Following this our hosts dropped deep and grinded out the win in the same ruthless manner often deployed by ourselves to shut games down. In truth you'd be hard pressed to find a bluenose driving back on the M6 who felt we deserved anything from the game. Six points from nine plus a cup win is a decent opening gambit though, especially given the positive closure to the transfer window which proceeded the game; crucially some quality strength in depth was added as was the retention of key players. The dramatic last minute addition of Vadis Odidja was the best capture of deadline day for me; the Belgian is highly rated with great ability on the ball and the physicality required to anchor the midfield which is where I can see him being deployed. Bryan Oviedo will provide like for like cover and vital competition for Baines whilst Matthew Kennedy should give us more options on the right and up front although little is expected of the Scottish teenager in the short term.
Crucially, the seven players recruited in the summer have an average age of 22 as Moyes continues to beef up a squad specifically in the key 22-27 age bracket and which now looks as healthy as it has done at any stage of the Moyes era.
Natasha Dowie confident Everton ladies can secure Champions League football
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Sep 7 2012
EVERTON Ladies striker Natasha Dowie feels ‘three points is a must’ to secure Champions League football next season as they take on Chelsea this coming Sunday.The Blues currently lie in second place, a point ahead of Birmingham and Dowie says Chelsea will be no easy game as they look to cement the runners-up spot.She said: “Anyone can beat anyone in this league but if everyone gives 100% and the quality of players we have, I know we can come away with three points.”Birmingham are currently in third in the table, with a game in hand and Dowie reiterates that nine points from their remaining three matches is essential to keeping the Midlanders at bay. “You’d be stupid to think it was over at this stage, we have a great team and we’ll do everything to win our three final games, I am confident we can finish second.”The match kicks off at 2pm this Sunday at Marine’s Rossett Park and Blues fans can can get a free ticket with every one they purchase in a special matchday offer, getting them into the game as well as a host of activities including the chance to win signed Olympic and Everton Ladies merchandise.Dowie is desperate to secure European football for next season as well as having aspirations to challenge for the title after winning every other domestic trophy.She said: “It is a privilege to play in such a great tournament, the reason I joined Everton was to challenge for every trophy and I know we can do that with the players we have here.”Everton have finished second for the past few seasons and face a tough test if they are to maintain that record this year.
Everton FC should not rule out top four finish this season - Joe Royle
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 7 2012
FORMER Blues boss Joe Royle believes Everton should not rule out finishing in the Premier League’s top four if they can avoid major injuries this season.Royle, who was the last Toffees manager to lift a trophy when his side won the FA Cup in 1995, has been thoroughly impressed with David Moyes’ transfer dealings in the summer, and insists Everton are primed to capitalise on a period of stability.And the former Goodison striker thinks his beloved Blues are capable of repeating their achievement of finishing fourth in 2005, especially with other contenders going through transitional phases.He said: “Everton are looking strong. They are certainly a solid bet for the top six and if they can get their best team out every week and find some rhythm and continuity then you can’t rule out the top four. “The Manchester clubs have had funny starts and are conceding goals while Arsenal and Tottenham have made changes and don't look overly convincing.“I think there is an awful lot to be optimistic about for Everton.”Royle believes Moyes might have made his second FA Cup final last term if he had been able to include the then on-loan Steven Pienaar in his line-up for the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool at Wembley.“Pienaar just brings everyone on with him,” he says. “He has always been terrific with Baines but I have never seen Fellaini in better form and both Osman and Gibson are thriving too.“A lot of that is down to Pienaar’s influence.“It was so clear last season when we were missing him at Wembley in a game where neither side really performed, yet a week or so later we were terrific against a very good Manchester United side at Old Trafford with Pienaar at the heart of it.”But Royle has also been impressed by another January arrival in the form of £500,000 Old Trafford recruit Darron Gibson.Speaking in this month’s edition of the Evertonian magazine (far right), he said: “Darron came along and offered Everton something a bit different.“He is always looking for the ball and always wants the ball – he is that important continuity player that a team needs.“Plus the thing with Gibson is you get the impression there is much more to come from him.“He can score goals and I think we’ll see more from him in the future as well.”Nikica Jelavic was arguably the main arrival in the previous transfer window and Royle is quick to acknowledge his impact – although he thinks the summer has further consolidated an already vibrant dressing room.“In Jelavic they got someone with great movement and mobility,” he added.“But more than that he is someone who wants to score goals and he is a great finisher. That was so important because before you would see games Everton were on top in but they lacked that cutting edge that a goalscorer provides.“Jelavic has been that man - his goals are a major, major plus for them.“I honestly don’t know about the new lads yet, but they come with pedigree and will give the manager options.“Naismith has come in and started well after impressing in Scotland and is fitting in with the way Everton do things.“New players need a little time but if you look at the squad now, it has a good look about it. They look as strong as they have done for a while.”
Howard Kendall: Transfer deadline day panic buys can come back to haunt clubs
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Sep 7 2012
CREDIT TO David Moyes for his manoeuvring in a successful summer transfer window.Unlike other clubs Everton did most of their business early, and even the lads they brought in close to the deadline are young players who the manager has clearly been watching for a while.Often buying clubs are in a tough situation when it comes to last minute signing of players. Most of the time they’ll have inquired about the player earlier in the summer and been told no by the other club who are hoping to hold out for a bigger fee for their asset. It’s a similar situation with Clint Dempsey. Fulham were always going to sell him but it was a case of when it suited them and for the biggest fee.
Howard Kendall: International apathy never ceases to amaze me
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Sep 7 2012
IT JUST astounds me when you hear about players withdrawing from international matches.Harry Catterick used to withdraw us from England squads all the time when I was playing for him at Everton.Bally used to say “I’m going!” and storm upstairs to have it out with the boss.I remember once phoning Alf Ramsey myself to let him know in no uncertain terms that whatever he’d heard to the contrary – I certainly was not injured!There was nothing I could do about it but it was very frustrating.With modern players it seems like, for some of them at least, there has been a shift in their priorities when it comes to international football.Undoubtedly there are now more friendlies than ever so the demand on players to play for their country is probably higher than ever, but it must remain one of the ultimate goals for any footballer.You should always want to play for your country and for me, that should be something players savour and hunger for.I know that looking back at my time as a player we were desperate to play for England and as Bally proved he’d go to any lengths to make it happen – even taking on a manager who didn’t want him to.
Everton striker Steven Naismith: Blues feel invincible
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Sep 7 2012
STEVEN NAISMITH says he can’t get enough of playing for Everton – and insists the Blues winning mentality makes them feel invincible.The Scotland forward has hit the ground running since his summer switch from Rangers, and has been delighted with Everton’s strong start to the season – insisting their defeat by West Brom last weekend was a blip. Naismith, 25, missed most of last season through injury and reckons the enforced lay-off has given him a new thirst for action with club and country.He said: “The whole way through most of pre-season, I’ve enjoyed it more than most footballers enjoy pre-season just for the fact I had been out.“Now that I’m back involved in games, the games can’t come quick enough. I think that was something the manager made a conscious point of stating to the players, that he wanted us to start well.“We showed, especially in the Manchester United game, we were willing to fight and got our just rewards with a good 1-0 win and we pushed on from there in the cup game and against Aston Villa [won 3-1], although obviously last weekend wasn’t a great result to finish it off.“The squad believe we can go into every game and compete and win. You want to finish as high as you can, that goes without saying, but it’s too early to say where you’re going to finish“The teams you come up against every week, it shows there is real quality in every team. Every game’s a tough game and you’ve got to be at your best to get results.” Naismith, who has joined the Scotland squad ahead of Saturday’s World Cup Group A qualifying opener against Serbia, said it was similarly tough to win a starting place in Craig Levein’s upwardly mobile side.“That’s one thing that’s noticeable – the competition for places is really, really strong and that can only be good,” he added.Scotland welcome Serbia to Hampden Park tomorrow, before Macedonia also visit Glasgow on Tuesday.Naismith added: “Nobody can deny there has been a lot of progress made from where the squad was before he took over.“We’ve all now had experience in qualifiers. It’s not as if it is a new squad coming together.“We’ve been together for a while now, which goes a long way.“Now we need to turn that into performances on the park at the qualifying stage, not doing it just in friendlies.“We need to show we are capable and that what the manager has been working towards is now paying off.”
Ian Doyle: Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka deserve England chance
by Ian Doyle, The Liverpool Post
Sep 7 2012
LEIGHTON BAINES and Phil Jagielka were two of only five outfield players who failed to appear for England at Euro 2012.But now Roy Hodgson is poised to turn to the Everton duo for his team’s opening World Cup qualifying double header against Moldova and Ukraine.Not before time.Baines has long surpassed the point of being an unsung hero at Goodison, the rest of the Premier League having cottoned on during the past 18 months of his undoubted talents.The Everton man has just had the misfortune of playing at the same time as Ashley Cole, one of the finest left-backs ever to appear for the England national team and whose injury has opened the door for Baines.Jagielka, meanwhile, has been in outstanding form this season, driven by the competition for places at centre-back for David Moyes’s side and, in England’s friendly against Italy last month, opening his account for his country.Certainly, the former Sheffield United man has come a long way since his difficult first international start in Spain in February 2009.Now 30, Jagielka is in the prime of his career. And as Moyes is discovering this season, Hodgson would be wise not to ignore such a fact.
We feel invincible insists Everton FC striker Steven Naismith
Sep 7 2012
STEVEN NAISMITH says he can’t get enough of playing for Everton – and insists the Blues’ winning mentality makes them feel invincible.The Scotland forward has hit the ground running since his summer switch from Rangers, and has been delighted with Everton’s strong start to the season – insisting their defeat by West Brom last weekend was a blip.Naismith, 25, missed most of last season through injury and reckons the enforced lay-off has given him a new thirst for action with club and country.He said: “The whole way through most of pre-season, I’ve enjoyed it more than most footballers enjoy pre-season just for the fact I had been out.“Now that I’m back involved in games, the games can’t come quick enough. I think that was something the manager made a conscious point of stating to the players, that he wanted us to start well. “We showed, especially in the Manchester United game, we were willing to fight and got our just rewards with a good 1-0 win and we pushed on from there in the cup game and against Aston Villa (won 3-1), although obviously last weekend wasn’t a great result to finish it off.“The squad believe we can go into every game and compete and win. You want to finish as high as you can, that goes without saying, but it’s too early to say where you’re going to finish.“The teams you come up against every week, it shows there is real quality in every team. Every game’s a tough game and you’ve got to be at your best to get results.” Naismith, who has joined the Scotland squad ahead of Saturday’s World Cup Group A qualifying opener against Serbia, said it was similarly tough to win a starting place in Craig Levein’s upwardly mobile side.“That’s one thing that’s noticeable – the competition for places is really, really strong and that can only be good,” he added.Scotland welcome Serbia to Hampden Park tomorrow, before Macedonia also visit Glasgow on Tuesday.Naismith added: “Nobody can deny there has been a lot of progress made from where the squad was before he (Levein) took over.“We’ve all now had experience in qualifiers. It’s not as if it is a new squad coming together. We’ve been together for a while now, which goes a long way.“Now we need to turn that into performances on the park at the qualifying stage, not doing it just in friendlies.“We need to show we are capable and that what the manager has been working towards is now paying off.”
Everton XI 2 Huddersfield Town 1
Finch Farm (Behind closed Doors)
Goals ; Osman (1-0), Hammill (1-1), Gueye (2-1)
Everton Neville; Hibbert, Distin, Osman, Barkley, Anichebe, Gueye
Huddersfield Town Team: (4-4-2): Nick Colgan; Calum Woods, Murray Wallace, Anthony Gerrard, Tom Clarke; Adam Hammill (Matt Crooks 80), Scott Arfield (Jordan Sinnott 80), Chris Atkinson (Anton Robinson 46), Kallum Higginbotham; Alan Lee (Scott Kay 65), Jimmy Spencer
FIFA refuse to ratify Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe loan move to Everton FC
Sep 7 2012
FIFA have refused to ratify the loan transfer of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe to Everton FC from Club Brugge.
Everton FC agreed a late deal to sign Odjidja-Ofoe on loan a week ago and believed the required documentation had been submitted just before last Friday’s 11pm deadline. However, the move required the green light from world football’s governing body and a week later FIFA have decided not to rubber-stamp the deal for the 23-year-old midfielder. Everton FC said in a statement: "The decision comes despite both the Football Association and Premier League giving their full support to the loan agreement and Everton lodging the relevant signed paperwork in advance of the international transfer deadline on August 31." Everton FC confirmed the club will consider "all available options" before discussing the issue further.
Everton FC miss out on Vadis Ogjidja Ofoe thanks to paperwork mix-up
By Greg O'Keeffe
Sep 7 2012
EVERTON have been refused permission to sign midfielder Vadis Odjidja Ofoe by Fifa after his club were late filing documents on transfer deadline day. The ruling means David Moyes has been thwarted in his attempt to bolster his midfield in frustrating circumstances, with the Blues seemingly being penalised for errors by Club Brugge last Friday. Moyes will now assess his options in December before deciding whether to make a fresh bid for the 23-year-old, and in the meantime the club will consider whether they can appeal the ruling. An Everton spokesman insisted the club was not at fault: "The decision comes despite both the Football Association and Premier League giving their full support to the loan agreement and Everton lodging the relevant signed paperwork in advance of the international transfer deadline on August 31. "The club will consider all available options before making any further comment." But Ofoe blamed Everton when he took to Twitter to write, "I would be lying if I said I didn't want to play in the Premier League, but now we need to look ahead. "I knew there was a chance that the transfer wouldn't go through since Everton was late requesting the transfer".