Cardiff 0 - Everton 0: Manchester United targets show their class in Welsh shut-out
By Harry Pratt/Published 1st September 2013
Leighton Baines showed why David Moyes is so eager to sign him in the nll-nil clash Certainly nobody among the blue half of Merseyside could accuse ¬either of taking their foot of the gas for this stalemate trip to ¬Premier League new-boys Cardiff.In fact, it was the complete ¬opposite. Yes, Manchester United might want Baines and Fellaini ¬before tomorrow night’s transfer deadline, having had two bids of £28million and £36m rejected in the past fortnight.But there has been no threat of strikes from the Toffees duo. Take note Yohan Cabaye. And there have been no public demands to quit – in the style of Luis Suarez.Instead, England left-back Baines and ¬Belgium midfielder Fellaini have continued to go about their business in the manner that has made them such hot properties.Everton boss Roberto Martinez hailed their ¬performances and reiterated the club do not plan to sell them in the next 36 hours.He said: “The way they played showed they are great professionals. That’s why we want to keep them.” No wonder their former boss ¬David Moyes, now at Old Trafford, is so keen to land them, while his successor ¬Martinez is so desperate to keep them.For while Everton’s sluggish start to the season might suggest ¬otherwise, Baines and Fellaini are absolutely pivotal to everything good about his squad. Even yesterday, when the visitors slumped to a third successive draw and left their new manager still ¬searching for his first league win in the job, they were everywhere.Baines, 28, is the creative cog that ¬constantly keeps Everton ticking down the flank. ¬Fellaini, meanwhile, is a rampaging, ¬menacing threat to any defence.And had referee Anthony Taylor been on the ball, their ¬commendable efforts may have been enough for Martinez’s troops to have left the Welsh capital with three points.Taylor and his assistants had ¬already missed a blatant sixth-minute forearm smash from Craig Bellamy into Baines’ face. That should have been a straight red card.But if that was poor, Taylor’s ¬refusal to award Everton a penalty before the break ¬really defied logic.Baines – who else? – was the ¬victim when, having sped into the box in trademark ¬fashion, he skipped past one challenge only to be sent tumbling by a late lunge from ¬Chilean hardnut Gary Medel.The Cardiff midfielder was not even close to touching the ball, his foot clearly taking the legs of the Everton ace.Just what the man in black ¬witnessed is anybody’s guess. But the ¬Manchester official waved away the appeals, suggesting Baines must have dived.Video replays confirmed he had not. Yet, ever the perfect professional, Baines did not moan but instead raced back into ¬position. Martinez said: “It was as clear a ¬penalty as you’ll see. Leighton told me it was a foul. But I’m not complaining. Our refs are the best in the game. These things happen and we should have won without that.”Cardiff boss Malky Mackay disputed that version of events around the penalty claim and said: “When I looked at it live I thought it would be incredibly soft if given.”That was just about the closest Everton came to finding a way through ¬Cardiff’s dogged, park-the-bus rearguard.Baines almost nicked it with a late ¬long-range effort, Belgium midfielder Kevin ¬Mirallas should have hit the target from eight yards out in the first half while David Marshall’s stunning 40th-minute save denied Nikica Jelavic’s deflected header.“Our refs are the best in the game. These things happen and we should have won without that” Those aside, though, Mackay’s troops ¬enjoyed a ¬relatively trouble-free time. The Bluebirds boss used to be a no-nonsense ¬defender and has drilled his back four well.The only snag for the hosts is when they have so many men ¬behind the ball, they can struggle to carve out much at the other end.They may have stunned Man City six days earlier with a thrilling 3-2 win but here they failed to get a single shot on ¬target.Not that Mackay will be ¬complaining. After a 51-year absence from the top flight, four points from three games is a more than decent ¬return.The City boss, who confirmed the signing of former French Under-21s defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine for £2m from Rennes, said: “I’m very pleased. There’s no way we could let it be an after the Lord -Mayor’s show.“We were at it and matched them stride for side.”
Cardiff City 0 - Everton 0: Roberto Martinez left frustrated as Cardiff dig in
By: Phil Cadden
Sun, September 1, 2013
New Everton boss Martinez is still waiting for his first Premier League win after a third draw in a row.But that was after Leighton Baines had a strong penalty claim dismissed.The England left-back appeared to be floored by Cardiff’s bad-boy Chilean midfielder Gary Medel, nicknamed ‘The Pitbull’.But referee Anthony Taylor waved away Everton appeals as Cardiff rode their luck.Martinez’s frustration will only be heightened by the lack of firepower up front after suffering a second goalless draw in a row.And should he be forced to sell either Marouane Fellaini or Baines – or both – then surely a new striker will be top of the shopping list.Both players started here despite being targeted by former boss David Moyes at Manchester United but failed to inspire a first win of the league campaign.Martinez said: “Give credit to Cardiff, they worked hard. We needed to be more clinical. I felt we dropped two points. The draws put more pressure on the next game.“It’s the first time Cardiff have played Everton since 1979 and it’s an incredible moment, but all we are talking about is the transfer window.“Yes, there should be a transfer window because it brings expectation and everyone wants to know how you are shaping your squad.“But, once the competitive games start then it should stop because it is unfair for everyone.”In contrast Malky Mackay was left beaming after his side secured another precious point.He said: “There was no way we could let this become an after the Lord Mayor’s show following last week. Four points after three games is a good solid start for us. We absolutely deserved a clean sheet.”Just six days after stunning Manchester City here at the Cardiff City Stadium and in front of a record crowd, his side dug in and scrapped for every tackle, every ball and every inch for the draw.Having won the Championship on the back of the best home form in the league, this stadium is again looking like a fortress. Mackay kept faith with the same team and Cardiff continued where they left off with a lively start.The Welsh club were the set-piece specialists of the Championship last season, scoring more than half their goals from dead-ball positions.And a cheeky inswinging corner from Peter Whittingham almost caught Tim Howard off-guard with his defenders scrambling to clear.Martinez’s side wore down their hosts, gradually turning the screw, but they lacked a finishing touch to find a way past the excellent David Marshall in Cardiff’s goal.Twice Kevin Mirallas drifted unmarked into the box only to head wide from close range.Yes, there should be a transfer window because it brings expectation and everyone wants to know how you are shaping your squad.If that had frustrated Martinez, it was nothing to the feeling of injustice when Medel took down Baines.Seamus Coleman then fired wide moments later and even when Matthew Connolly’s ill-placed back-pass almost put Mirallas through on goal, Everton could not find a way past Marshall.The Scotland goalkeeper pulled off a stunning one-handed save from Nikica Jelavic’s deflected header on the stroke of half-time and Martinez must have wondered whether this was not going to be his day. Cardiff wrestled back the initiative after the break and a physical encounter threatened to boil over when Fellaini and Fraizer Campbell clashed.Baines and Gerard Deulofeu fired agonisingly wide late on. It summed up Everton’s start to the season.
Kyung picked out his powerful run with a superb pass.
September 2, 2013
By Terry Phillips, Wales
Instead, Bellamy’s first touch was poor, he had to run wide of goal to retrieve the ball and the chance was lost. “Craig is unhappy,” said Mackay. “He feels he should have taken it in his stride with his left foot and I thought that at the time as well. “But it was a beautiful, beautiful move which created the chance and we had another couple of opportunities. “Matthew Connolly was through and I thought he was going to shoot instead of coming inside, while we also flashed a couple across goal. “On another day Fraizer Campbell might have got hold of one. “At the same time we were defensively solid, disciplined and showed how fit we are. “At the end we were doubling up to stop a top Everton team getting near our goal. “I am so proud of the group. “We have played Manchester City, who were second last season, and Everton, who were sixth, and matched them stride for stride. “They were playing against top, top international players and it should fire them all with great belief. “We had to be extremely focused going into the Everton match because there was still so much media hype and spotlight on our result the previous week. “There was the danger of being caught up in that and forgetting that we had a top team coming to play us in Everton, but the players were spot on. “We kept a clean sheet which was absolutely deserved. The back four and goalkeeper were outstanding. We defend from the front and did well as a unit, but there were two or three exceptional performances at the back.”
Nathan Blake: Cardiff City fans sent home happy with battling Everton display
2 Sep 2013 Wales
Cardiff City legend Nathan Blake was at the Premier League match with Everton
Everton at home was always going to be the more difficult after Cardiff City’s win against Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City. Expectations had shot up and the visitors had planned knowing, without doubt, the type of test they were going to face. But I’m not surprised Cardiff produced another quality team display, earned a great point and sent Bluebirds fans home happy again.
I had thought City might find it difficult raising their game to the same levels again, but the way they performed showed their win against Manchester City was no fluke. Malky Mackay’s team are well drilled and highly organised. In fact, it’s similar to last season. They are not ripping up trees as a team, but there is no doubt City are a good, solid unit. It’s early days, but my only worry would be that with the intensity levels they are hitting a stronger squad may be needed. Look at the bench – and I mean no disrespect to those players because Mackay had a lot of talent among the subs. But City need a bit more experience to come on and do a job when needed. Jordon Mutch went on and played well, but he is still aged 21 and learning the game. A few more experienced men next to them to help the young ones would make City a far stronger prospect. I’m certain Mackay is working hard to bring in at least one more signing – and I’m hoping it’s somebody with some Premier League know-how. Looking back at the draw against Everton, it’s clear City were fortunate with the penalty incident. Leighton Baines was fouled by Gary Medel and it was a penalty, no question.
Then, when David Marshall made that fantastic reflex stop from Nikica Jelavic, I also thought there was a handball by defender Ben Turner. He was caught out of position, too far off his man and Jelavic got there. Turner dived towards the ball and took a chance. It took a deflection off his hand and could have gone in, but Marshall kept it out. But, for me, City deserved their point for their organisation, discipline and levels of concentration. They often had 11 players in their own final third, looking to play on the counter. City squeezed space and told Everton ‘You are going to have to shoot from 25 yards because we are closing every bit of space available to you.’ By the end, Kimbo, Campbell, Bellers and Whitts were among those tiring, but they kept going and were focused.
That’s when they needed those experienced players I believe Mackay must bring in. City will get away with it at this stage of the season, but it could take a toll as the months draw on.
But there is no doubt it was a great result. City’s performance was highly satisfactory without being wonderful. They have more than held their own in back-to-back home matches.
Mackay has got the tactics right and the balance between defence and offence is right at the moment. To ask Bellamy, Kim and Whitts to break forward even quicker than they are and support Campbell would be a mistake at this stage. That would leave City light in midfield if they lost possession and right at this moment City are happy to pick up close wins or draws.
By November, if they have earned a decent haul of points then they may be in a position to assess things again. It’s best at this stage to defend deep and counter. A more expansive approach may work in due course, but not yet. Four points from two games against opposition who are going to finish in the top eight is an excellent return. The more City can go without losing the more their confidence will grow. City look the Premier League part and that has been taken on board by fans, who were relaxed through a hard-fought match. When the fixtures first came out people were saying ‘Oh no, it’s Manchester City first at home – then Everton!’ Cardiff, though, are playing their way into Premier League football and are on the right track. Next up are Hull. That’s a match Cardiff can get in and out with a point at least, no question. But if they do lose then don’t listen to people saying the bubble has burst. Every game is important and there will be setbacks. Mackay and his players will be met by a totally different test, a completely new set of circumstances at the KC Stadium. My view is that Cardiff can win this match in midfield. Hull have Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone through the middle and City will have better legs in there. Okay, Livermore will compete physically, but not Huddlestone. He has a great range of passing, but don’t expect him to get up and down. If City get Medel and Co to target Huddlestone, close him down and stop him getting his passes off during the first 20 minutes or so it will be a major factor in the contest.It’s been a highly enjoyable season so far. The fans have loved seeing their team compete at Premier League level and showing they absolutely deserve to be there. We have a couple of weeks to reflect on what the players have achieved so far. Four points from three difficult matches is a great start. Let’s savour that success – and get ready for the major hurdles ahead this season.
£14m McCarthy set for Everton
Daniel McDonnell – 02 September 2013
JAMES McCARTHY will join Everton today if Marouane Fellaini's transfer to Manchester United goes through and the Toffees meet Wigan's £14m asking price. The 22-year-old has not yet joined up with the Ireland squad in Portmarnock ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria after Giovanni Trapattoni gave him permission to stay in England until tomorrow to resolve his club situation. chairman Dave Whelan confirmed that he had already rejected a £12m bid from Everton for McCarthy. The 76-year-old was speaking during a promotional visit to the K Club with the FA Cup, and he actually took a phonecall from Everton boss Roberto Martinez while speaking to journalists. "Roberto is chasing James," said Whelan. "If Everton sell Fellaini, they're going to come in again for our boy. "It depends whether Fellaini goes today. I have heard that he's definitely going."If Fellaini goes, Everton are going to get their £30m or whatever. Roberto knows what James is valued at so they've got to come back in with the right amount. You've got to be talking £14m or maybe a little more." Whelan added: "I would never stop a footballer going up to a bigger club, or to the Premier League. I know what it's like if you stop a footballer going to the club he wants to go to; you never get the same response or loyalty out of him ever again if you stand in his way."
It was a good weekend for Trapattoni, with all his main players coming through their club commitments unscathed. Stephen Kelly has withdrawn from the squad for Friday's match against Sweden after his wife, Helga, went into labour with their first child. Trapattoni gave the defender permission to stay at home but may recall him for the trip to Austria. Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington, who underlined his commitment to the cause by posting his Irish passport and boarding pass on his Twitter account, has met up with the group for the first time after injury prevented him from accepting previous call-ups.
Cardiff 0 - Everton 0: Leon Osman hopes there's no Leight move
LEON OSMAN will hide himself away until the transfer window slams shut tonight.
By Graham Clutton 2nd September 2013
Like everyone else at Goodison Park, Osman fears the loss of stars Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. Manchester United boss David Moyes is poised to try again to land his former favourites.
But Osman is refusing to watch the countdown to the 11pm deadline on TV - just in case it's bad news for the Toffees. "I will just turn the telly off and hope they're still here come Monday night," said Osman. "You certainly don't want to lose your better players. "As players, we can't affect it, so we've just got to let things happen and deal with them when they do. "Every Evertonian wants them to stay, but we live in the real world and things happen differently than how you want them to." Everton boss Roberto Martinez has already turned down two huge bids from United.
Osman hopes the club stand firm to the bitter end. "I think for the last few seasons Leighton has been consistently brilliant week in, week out," said Osman. "He deserves the plaudits he gets and it doesn't surprise me that people are interested in him. "But I think it would be a massive statement if we kept them both. "It's always difficult when you're talking about the money which is being bandied about by the clubs that are interested. "It's going to be tough, but we're a big club ourselves. Let's see what happens come the end of the window." Everton could certainly do with pepping up their strike force after two blanks in as many games for Martinez. They dominated the game in terms of possession but fluffed their lines in front of goal. Kevin Mirallas headed wide from point-blank range and in first-half stoppage time, Cardiff keeper David Marshall pulled off a wonder save to deny Nikica Jelavic. In between, Everton should have been awarded a penalty when Gary Medel brought down Baines. But referee Anthony Taylor waved away the visitors' claims.
“It's going to be tough, but we're a big club ourselves. Let's see what happens come the end of the window.” Seven minutes after the break, Jelavic scooped his shot into the front row of the family enclosure with only Marshall to beat. Osman said: "We've had three draws and we're trying to change them into wins. "Obviously we'd like to win the games and we've got to work hard to make sure we do. "Scoring is the most important aspect of football. "We're certainly creating chances."
It was another successful day for Cardiff who have taken four points from their opening two home games, following last weekend's stunning win over Manchester City. Craig Bellamy had the Welsh side's best chance after an hour. But, having rounded Tim Howard, the veteran striker took the ball too wide and the chance went begging. Full-back Matt Connolly said: "We worked hard, we made some chances and we are pleased with the point. "Had you have said before the last two games we would have four points, we'd have been delighted with that. "We are going to cause teams problems here. It's a great atmosphere." For last season's Championship winners, the international break has come at the wrong time. "We are building up momentum," said Connolly. "But the lads who aren't playing internationals will get a break and we can look forward to the Hull game."
Cardiff completed the signing of Uruguayan defender Maximiliano Amondarin on Friday and have now added former France under-21 Kevin Theophile-Catherine to their squad.
Everton told by Wigan: James McCarthy’s price is £15m
EVERTON were last night told they will have to pay in excess of £15million to prise James McCarthy from Wigan after seeing an initial bid rejected.
By: Matt Lloyd, Daily Express
Mon, September 2, 2013
An offer in the region of £10m was rebuffed yesterday afternoon for Republic of Ireland midfielder McCarthy, viewed as a potential replacement for Marouane Fellaini by Everton manager Roberto Martinez. He is still working on a loan deal for Manchester City’s Gareth Barry and must decide whether to cash in on Victor Anichebe, who is wanted by both West Brom and Hull.
Fellaini is wanted by Manchester United, but Everton turned down a bid that valued him at £23.5m last week as part of a joint £36m bid with Leighton Baines and they are determined to hold out for in excess of £25m. The Belgium international has told Everton he wants to go following talks with Martinez last week. Wigan will not stand in the way of a Premier League return for McCarthy, 22, who was signed by Martinez for just £1.2m in 2009, but wanted their valuation matched in order to give manager Owen Coyle funds to bring in a replacement. Coyle aimed a thinly veiled dig at his predecessor Martinez for approaching Wigan chairman Dave Whelan and chief executive Jonathan Jackson about McCarthy last week, but not speaking to him. McCarthy – who scored three Premier League goals last season compared to Fellaini’s 11 – has also interested Newcastle, but Everton now know what it will take to get the deal done. Everton midfielder Leon Osman fears the club are facing a losing battle to hold on to Fellaini and Baines as Manchester United close in. Osman says Everton can carry on without the star pair, but this third successive draw suggests the need to strengthen, rather than sell. Every Evertonian is hoping we can keep what we’ve got and add a bit more, but we live in the real world and sometimes things happen differently Leon Oswan He said: “Every Evertonian is hoping we can keep what we’ve got and add a bit more, but we live in the real world and sometimes things happen differently. “I’ll turn off the TV and hope they are still with us in a few days. You don’t want to lose your better players.” Their lack of cutting edge showed here when Kevin Mirallas twice headed wide from close range. But it took an excellent save by David Marshall to deny Nikica Jelavic and Baines should have had a penalty when he was floored by Gary Medel.
Cardiff continue to defy the odds, but they rarely looked like adding Everton’s scalp to Manchester City’s. Defender Matthew Connolly said: “We showed Everton too much respect in the first half.”
Baines showed us why we need to keep him - Coleman
2 Sep 2013 Liverpoool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Cardiff display showed full-back's value to Blues
Leighton Baines’ star performance for Everton against Cardiff underlines why the club must do all it can to keep him before today’s transfer deadline, says Seamus Coleman. The England left-back was in outstanding form and should have earned his side a penalty in the first half but for a shocking decision by ref Anthony Taylor, as the game eventually finished goalless. Everton must play a waiting game today as Manchester United plot whether to make another joint bid for Baines and Marouane Fellaini before tonight’s 11pm cut-off, or simply focus their efforts on landing the Belgian. The Toffees board insist Baines is not for sale despite United’s continued pursuit and will not part with Fellaini on the cheap, as the Old Trafford club continue to drag their feet in matching his valuation of around £25m. And Coleman hopes the lack of outgoings over the weekend suggest the Blues can survive the window unscathed, with both of their prized pair remaining on Merseyside. He said: “It’s important we keep him (Baines) and it’s important we hold on to all of our top players. But when the transfer window is open your players are going to be linked with other clubs. It happens. It’s up to us to try and keep them and hopefully build on what we have.
“Since I’ve been here there’s always been some kind of transfer talk because we’ve had top players. There was Arteta, Lescott before him and now it’s the two lads but it’s down to personalities and I haven’t seen any difference in the way they’ve performed. “Felli has been fantastic too and as far as I know he’s still an Everton player. Every week he gives it his all, like all the lads. It’s something which is expected at this club.” Coleman admitted he was shocked when Taylor failed to point to the spot after Baines was upended in the area by Cardiff’s Gary Medel, but he knows the Blues have their own goal-scoring weaknesses to blame for coming away from South Wales without the win their domination merited. “From where I was it really looked a penalty,” he said. “Bainesy is an honest player and I looked at his reaction and he was bemused that the ref didn’t give it so if he was like that it was probably a penalty. “It was very frustrating. We had the ball for large parts of the game and I suppose it’s just about getting it right in the final third. “There was a ball Gerard (Deulofeu) put across the box towards the end and you’re hoping someone is there to put it in the back of the net so that was disappointing. We’re dominating but there needs to be more.
“It’s all about winning games and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get forward and score. “Cardiff beat Manchester City at home last week, and they’re just promoted so it was a difficult fixture. It’s not a bad result but it’s the fact we haven’t picked up a win in the first few games which is the disappointing bit.”
Blank looks all round: Greg O'Keeffe on Everton's draw at Cardiff
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
It’s a real score point for Blues in south Wales stalemate
Newness abounds in the Premier League this season.
New managers, new players, new destinations for away supporters.
But the 3,000 travelling Toffees who headed to the Welsh capital on Saturday saw their team hampered by an age-old, all too familiar problem. Everton may be playing a markedly different brand of football under Roberto Martinez, and as it continues to evolve this season they will reap the benefits. But first the Catalan needs to solve a conundrum which has puzzled every recent incumbent of the Goodison managerial hot seat. Scoring goals. If your average Evertonian had a quid for every time they’ve walked out of a ground lamenting their side’s toothless attack they’d be able to hijack Real Madrid’s move for Gareth Bale and still have enough change to cover Gareth Barry’s wages. Strikers have come and gone over the last decade, some with prolific bursts along the way, but none have really been able to make a sustained impact for the Blues. Yakubu’s 19 goal haul in the 2007/08 campaign was the last tally worthy of a position which is so enshrined in Everton folklore. At the Cardiff City stadium the Blues had a vice-like control of possession, and plenty of creative threat thanks to Ross Barkley and Leighton Baines, but too many gilt-edged chances were wasted. Kevin Mirallas is not a centre forward, but he still should have done far better when opportunity presented itself courtesy of Baines’ excellent forward foray 30 minutes into the first half. Typical of Nikica Jelavic’s recent woes, it was the Croatian striker who had drifted away from the goal to provide the assist, but nevertheless his cross was accurate and the unmarked Mirallas made a hash of a simple header. It wasn’t breaking for the Blues in front of goal, and they were on the wrong end of a clueless refereeing display too. Anthony Taylor appeared poised to point to the spot after Gary Medel upended Baines so blatantly in the penalty area, but inexplicably he changes his mind and waved away protests. Martinez summed it up afterwards when he said: “It’s as clear a penalty you will ever see.” Malky McKay disagreed naturally, but inside he will know his side dodged a bullet. It was no surprise that Everton’s left-back had drawn the foul which should have provided their breakthrough moment. Despite the ongoing doubt over his future, Baines was as superb as ever. His professionalism said everything about a character who has kept his counsel throughout a deeply unsettling period when his love for Everton has been contrasted with his understandable desire to play at the highest level in the Champions League before he is 30, and join a club which will compete for titles. Baines left all that unrest behind in the dressing room and gave everything when he crossed the white line.
If the Blues can win their battle to keep him, they can rest assured that he will not sulk or allow his focus to drift. Marouane Fellaini too was a credit to himself, with a committed display despite being even closer to the Goodison exit door. A sudden injury might have scuppered the Belgian’s desired switch to Old Trafford but he never pulled out of any tackles, and toiled impressively to try and ensure three points as a potential leaving gift for the fans who have so taken him to their heart over the last five years. In the second half Cardiff began to do a little more than sit back and defend, and troubled their visitors with the occasional break. But it was still Martinez’s men who created the best chances; with Barkley providing a killer pass to Jelavic as he burst through on goal. Predictably the striker tensed up and snatched at it, sending his effort sailing over the bar. The quality of the through ball had deserved far more, but Jelavic wasn’t alone in his wastefulness.
Another moment of brilliance from Everton’s 19-year-old prodigy should have enabled Mirallas to at least test David Marshall in the Cardiff goal, but the forward wanted too many touches and was dispossessed as he ponderously tried to switch the ball onto his right foot. Mirallas is yet to find form in any of Everton’s opening three games, and his dynamism continues to be missed.
As the clock ticked down Fellaini’s influence continued, and it was his astute pass to Baines which saw the defender rifle a venomous effort narrowly wide. Fellaini briefly clapped the away supporters at the final whistle before departing the field. If it was a farewell, it was a subdued one. The next 24 hours will provide the answer. The end of the transfer window could prove fundamental to Everton’s hopes of a positive campaign. If Fellaini does leave, there is an argument that the incoming cash could well be partly spent on another striker to add further competition.
We will see. But if last weekend’s goalless draw with West Brom at Goodison was intensely frustrating, this was less so. Cardiff had upset Manchester City in their previous outing on home turf and know they got lucky this time around. Everton are progressing nicely, they just need to finally solve their chronic goal-scoring dilemma once and for all.
Martinez looks for midfield reinforcements
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Gareth Barry likely target
Roberto Martinez says he will look to strengthen Everton’s midfield before tonight’s transfer deadline – with Manchester City’s Gareth Barry a likely target. The Spaniard is ready for a busy 24 hours at Goodison Park, with movement expected before this evening’s 11pm deadline.
And whilst speculation surrounding the futures of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, both of whom have been the subject of strong interest from Manchester United, is likely to run throughout the day, Martinez says he is looking to add to his squad. The Blues boss would not name names when pushed on possible targets following Everton’s goalless draw with Cardiff City on Saturday, but a loan deal for Barry is likely, providing a compromise can be reached with City over the England international’s wages. Wigan Athletic’s Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy is another potential target, though a move for the 22-year-old will hinge on whether Fellaini’s switch to Old Trafford goes through or not. Braga left back Elderson Echijiele has also been scouted.
Asked about the possibility of strengthening his squad, Martinez said: “When you get into the final two days of the window, you expect to be active. “I hope it is going to be a busy one.
“We are trying to identify one or two players who could help us, but they can’t be just anyone. It has to be someone specific. “We are very strong everywhere apart from in midfield. We lost three players, you could say, from the previous squad, so we are a little bit weak there.
“Ross Barkley is still a young man, and we need to be careful that we don’t burn him out. So that is an area that I am looking at, to see if the right kind of character could help us. “But we are not in a desperate situation, trying to bring someone in. I’m looking at the back, and we are very strong in every position there. The goalkeeper, up front, the same. It’s the midfield I am looking at.”
Martinez insisted that Everton were yet to receive an improved offer from Manchester United for either Fellaini or Baines, though it is expected that the Premier League champions will return today. And the Spaniard says he aims to end the transfer window, which he says has been giving him “sleepless nights”, in a stronger position than they began it. He added: “You always want to keep your good performers and we have had interest in our players, which I see as a fantastic complement. “We are in a very good financial position and we don’t have to sell to balance any books and that gives you a good strength. You never know what is going to happen but we are looking strong to finish the window in a stronger position than we were when it opened.”
Both Baines and Fellaini started for Everton in Cardiff, despite a week of obvious distractions.
“I never doubted that they would play,” added Martinez. “They are true professionals. Leighton enjoyed his football, and I thought he performed with a real swagger, and gave a real example about how to perform. “Marouane had a little knock, and carried on and was effective for the team. I couldn’t be happier with the performances of those two players. “It is not easy to be always in the media, with everyone talking about whether you are going to go. “Footballers are human beings, and everyone should be allowed to think about the next step in their careers. “Sometimes stories come out in the press which are not true, and that is very unfair for any player. “We need to make sure that we stop putting players in these kind of situations, but I couldn’t be happier with the performances these players have given for the team.”
Problems to be solved as Blues draw for third weekend running
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Martinez side still very much a work in progress and lack cutting edge
How to solve a problem like Everton? For the third weekend running, Roberto Martinez saw his side walk away from a Premier League fixture with only a point for comfort. For the third week running, the Spaniard will feel they could, and should, have had more. In the long-run, a stalemate against a buoyant Cardiff City side, backed by an impressively boisterous home crowd, may well be considered a useful one. Ask Manchester City how tough a trip to South Wales can be. Indeed, Martinez will be pleased by the fact that Everton rarely looked in danger of losing here, though he will lament the decision of referee Anthony Taylor not to award a penalty when Leighton Baines tumbled over Gary Medel’s challenge late in the first half. “It was as clear a penalty as you will ever see,” was his assessment of that, and he wasn’t far wrong, even if Malky Mackay, predictably, disagreed.
But beneath the misfortune, the security and the unbeaten record, there lies an undercurrent of frustration. Martinez’s side are very much a work in progress, and it is showing. Here, as against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, Everton saw their short, patient approach play undermined by a lack of cutting edge in the final third. Martinez’s side already look capable of bossing possession against most sides, but they are yet to find a way to use it to win matches. The next 24 hours, as Everton fans always feared, have assumed incredible significance. Martinez relaunched his offensive on the “ridiculous” nature of the summer transfer window after the game here, and knows that he will spend Monday fretting over the futures of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, with Manchester United eager to sign one or both before the 11pm deadline. On this evidence, the loss of Baines would be a crushing blow to Everton’s ambitions. The left back started here – there was never any doubt that he would, despite the distracting nature of United’s interest – and was, as usual, Everton’s most effective attacking outlet. “He and Marouane were a credit to football,” said Martinez afterwards. Mathematicians may say that a deal worth millions of pounds for a full back approaching 30 years of age represents decent business, but the naked eye says different. Baines, put simply, is irreplaceable for Everton. Fellaini’s situation is slightly different. The general feeling around Goodison is that Everton will do well to retain the Belgian today, with United manager David Moyes ready to return with a new, third offer for the midfielder. Everton are understood to have lined up replacements, which include Wigan’s James McCarthy and Manchester City’s Gareth Barry, as contingency plans. Fellaini was, like Baines, professionalism personified here, though his influence on the game came largely in deeper positions. Rarely did the 25-year-old threaten to breach a supremely well-drilled Cardiff backline. In fairness, he was not alone. Everton, able to boss possession whilst guarding against the pace of Craig Bellamy and Fraizer Campbell on the counter, created precious little. The form of Nikica Jelavic, in particular, will worry Martinez, whilst neither Steven Pienaar nor Kevin Mirallas covered themselves in glory. Ross Barkley, at 19, should not be expected to carry Everton’s attacking burden alone. Mirallas had Everton’s clearest chance of a pallid first half, 29 minutes in. The Belgian winger was given time and space to meet Jelavic’s left-wing cross eight yards out, but his header lacked conviction. By that point, the tone of the game had long been set, with Cardiff happy to allow Everton the ball in their own half, and the visitors content to wait for their chance. They would be waiting a while. Everton should have had a penalty when Baines’ run into the area was ended by Medel’s rash sliding challenge, but Taylor, bizarrely, awarded a goal kick. Mackay argued that the Everton man was “already on his way down” when he reached Medel, but it was a fanciful suggestion. More agreeable was Mackay’s assessment of a save from his goalkeeper David Marshall in first-half stoppage-time. The Scot adjusted brilliantly to keep out Jelavic’s deflected close-range header, one-handed, but Everton will rue the fact they failed to test him further as the afternoon unfolded. Jelavic missed a clear opening at the start of the second half, after collecting a slide-rule pass from Ross Barkley. The Croatian’s finish, prodded awkwardly with the outside of his right foot, bore the hallmarks of a striker lacking confidence. Cardiff, too, struggled for creativity, though the impressive Kim did put Bellamy through with one cute pass. Bellamy’s touch, however, took him wide as he tried to round Tim Howard, and the chance was lost.
The malaise was catching. Mirallas, presented with a chance by another near Barkley pass, declined the chance to shoot on his left foot, and was crowded out. He was replaced by Gerard Deulofeu, who immediately saw a fierce low cross fly across the face of goal, without anyone in Blue providing the touch it begged for. And so the trend continues. Never before have Everton drawn the first three games of a league campaign. All three of those draws have been achieved with the same starting XI. That continuity, of course, is unlikely to continue. The next 24 hours promise to be both busy and nervous at Goodison. It sounds dramatic, but they could well define Martinez’s first season on Merseyside. Problem solving is on the agenda for the Spaniard.
Blues have £10m McCarthy bid rejected
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Martinez hoping to reunite with Scottish midfielder
Everton have had a bid of around £10m for midfielder James McCarthy rejected by Wigan Athletic.
Blues boss Roberto Martinez wants to be reunited with the player he signed from Hamilton Academical in 2009, as Marouane Fellaini edges closer to a move to Manchester United.
But Latics chairman Dave Whelan has told his former manager to increase his offer or risk missing out on the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international before today’s transfer deadline.
He said: “We rejected the bid because it’s still not near the value we’d expect. I hope James stays with us, but I’ve said I won’t stand in his way. We are waiting to see what happens at Everton, which is a difficult position to be in.” McCarthy, who has played 16 caps for Ireland, has been linked with a move to Goodison Park all summer to fill the possible gap left by Fellaini.
Ironically Whelan shares Martinez’s qualms about the transfer window remaining open after the season has started, and fears the unsettling nature of last minute exits. “If we have to sell James then we will have to bring someone in and that’s not easy,” he added. “I really hope he stays with us. Everyone seems to leave the business until the last minute. “James is perfectly happy at Wigan and if he stays beyond the deadline, then great. But this is unsettling for us as a club.
“And the transfer window should shut at midnight the day before the season starts so we can avoid all this worrying.”
Manchester United agree £24 million fee for Everton ace Fellaini
by Will Swanson. Mon 02 Sep 2013 0:15
Manchester Evening News
According to reports Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini is set to sign today for Manchester United. Goal claims the clubs are in advanced talks over a deal for the Belgian midfielder, who will complete a deadline-day move to Old Trafford. It is understood the deal will go through once Wigan Athletic ace James McCarthy’s move to Goodison Park is confirmed. While it appears Fellaini’s move will be completed, it is unclear at this stage whether United will land his teammate Leighton Baines. Everton value the England left-back at £20 million and it is far from certain whether United will be willing to offer enough to persuade the Toffees to part with him.
Wigan chief tells Everton FC to pay £14M for James McCarthy
by Richard Buxton. Mon 02 Sep 2013
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has told Everton they will need to pay £14million to land James McCarthy. Roberto Martinez plans to raid his former club for the Republic of Ireland midfielder as the Blues brace themselves for a fresh approach from Manchester United for Marouane Fellaini.
Martinez signed McCarthy for little more than £1million from Hamilton Academicals in 2009 and has turned to his former protege with Fellaini looking certain to move to Old Trafford. An offer worth £10million was last night rejected by the Latics and Whelan insists Everton will have to increase their initial bid if they are determined to secure the 22-year-old's signature today. In an interview with the Irish Independent, he said: "Roberto is chasing James. If Everton sell Fellaini, they are going to come in again for our boy. "It depends whether Fellaini goes today. I have heard that he's definitely going. If Fellaini goes, Everton are going to get their £30million or whatever. "Roberto knows what James is valued at, so they've got to come back in with the right amount. You've got to be talking £14million or maybe a little more."
Everton FC Transfer Rumour Mill: Fellaini to join United as Blues locked in McCarthy talks, Barry deal close, Feyenoord's Martins Indi link, Baines to stay, Junior loan deal
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Peter Guy
Blues boss Roberto Martinez faces frantic finish in the transfer window
Everton FC are facing a frantic transfer window finish with Marouane Fellaini, James McCarthy, Victor Anichebe, Gareth Barry and Bruno Martins Indi all names linked with Blues transfer activity.
West Brom have had a £3.5million bid rejected for Everton striker Victor Anichebe but are ready to up the bid to £4.5m. Manchester United are edging towards a deal for Marouane Fellaini after Everton asked for Jesse Lingard on loan for the season. Meanwhile Everton and Manchester City opened talks on Sunday afternoon over the season long of Gareth Barry. The sticking point for both clubs will be how the 32-year-old’s wages are paid, with Everton looking for City to subsidise part of them. Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan will demand at least £14m for James McCarthy, and says Everton are £2m short of that valuation at present. Earlier suggestions were Everton had a £12.5million fee with Wigan agreed appears to be incorrect. Everton are closing in on a deal to sign Feyenoord defender Bruno Martins Indi, according to sources in Holland. Midfielder Francisco Junior has joined Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan deal.
Cardiff v Everton analysis: It’s not normal – but it is ordinary
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Without threat, possession is little use to misfiring Blues
Will the real Nikica Jelavic please stand up? Another week, another stalemate for Everton.
And while Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini remain top of the news agenda at Goodison right now, Roberto Martinez could be forgiven for casting a worried eye towards his misfiring Croatian frontman. Jelavic endured another afternoon to forget here. An afternoon of loose touches and an even looser finish, interrupted sporadically by the sight of the assistant referee’s flag and the fourth official’s board. These are becoming common themes. His recent record is alarming. The 28-year-old has just one Premier League goal in his last 23 games – and even that required a significant deflection off Manchester City’s Gael Clichy en route to the net. How long, then, before “a slump” becomes “the norm”? Jelavic’s impact at Goodison Park after his arrival from Rangers 18 months ago was both immediate and impressive. His first 16 games for Everton yielded 11 goals, many of them taken with the aplomb of a striker at the very top of his game.
Where is that striker now? He certainly wasn’t at the Cardiff City Stadium. In fairness, Jelavic would have added just his second league goal of 2013 in first-half stoppage time here, were it not for the excellent reactions of Cardiff keeper David Marshall, who adjusted brilliantly to keep out the Croat’s deflected close-range header. He has also fashioned a good chance for Kevin Mirallas earlier; the Belgian should really have given his left-wing cross a better finish. Yet when presented with Everton’s best chance of a sterile second half, from a slide-rule Ross Barkley pass, Jelavic’s quality deserted him badly. His finish, jabbed awkwardly with the outside of his right foot, bore the hallmarks of a player bereft of confidence. He was replaced by Arouna Kone shortly after, and didn’t look in the slightest bit surprised. Has he found his level? Everton fans will hope not. The memories of those clinical early months means there are plenty who refuse to write Jelavic off, but he needs to start delivering. This was a second successive goalless draw for Martinez’s side, who have been comfortable enough in possession (they had 61% of it here) yet look like a side short of a cutting edge in attack. Kone, at £6.5m and with a season of working under Martinez behind him, has clearly been signed to start games, though his Goodison career was interrupted by Ramadan, and he too looks short of his best. The hope was that the Ivorian’s arrival would stir Jelavic’s combative instincts, that the competition would wake him from his slumber. So far, despite some signs of promise in pre-season, it hasn’t happened. Without a sharp edge, a lot of Martinez’s development work is undermined. Everton’s ball retention is undoubtedly better – they boast the highest average possession percentage in the Premier League so far – and the players appear willing to take a more cerebral, patient approach to breaking down teams, even if the tactic goes against the natural instincts of some. But without threat, possession is of little use. Everton scored twice at Norwich City on the opening day of the season, but have since come up short against two well-organised, yet undoubtedly limited, defences. It took the best part of two hours for the Blues to break down League One Stevenage on Wednesday night. Jelavic cannot take all of the blame, of course. His game has always been based around penalty-box instinct, as opposed to pace, power or exceptional individual ability. He needs service to thrive, and the worry is that he may not get enough of it under Martinez. And, make no mistake, he is not the only one out of sorts at the moment. Both Mirallas and Steven Pienaar have been off-colour so far this season. Pienaar in particular looks to be lacking the turn of pace which supplements his quick feet so well.
With Fellaini still very much on Manchester United’s radar – the gut feeling is that Everton will do well to have retained the Belgian by 11pm tonight – and Ross Barkley still growing into Premier League football, Martinez needs his match-winners to step up. Jelavic, we know, can be a match-winner, but he needs to remember what it was that made him so. Everton fans, certainly, have waited far too long to see it.
Everton FC reject £15M offer from Man United for Leighton Baines
by Richard Buxton. Mon 02 Sep 2013
Everton have rejected a £15million offer for Leighton Baines from Manchester United. David Moyes returned to his former club on deadline day with an improved offer for the Blues left-back but chairman Bill Kenwright is determined to resist all offers for the Kirkby-born player. The Premier League champions are expected to secure the capture of Baines' teammate Marouane Fellaini, with the 26-year-old given time off by the Belgian FA in order to secure a move to Old Trafford. United previously tabled joint bids for the pair, at £28million and £38million, which were both rejected by Goodison Park officials while attention has now turned to Fellaini's replacement. Roberto Martinez had planned to move for former Wigan lieutenant James McCarthy and last night saw a £10million bid rejected but Latics chief Dave Whelan's warning that only a bid in excess worth at least £14million be considered has forced a rethink from the Everton manager. A move for Gareth Barry is currently at an impasse, with Manchester City keen to offload the 32-year-old, who has one year remaining at the Etihad Stadium, permanently rather than on a loan deal. Martinez travelled to London earlier for a work permit hearing as looks to land Fernando from Porto as a direct replacement for Fellaini before the transfer window closes later this evening.
Everton target Fernando rules out leaving Porto on Instagram
Monday 2 Sep 2013
Porto midfielder Fernando appears to have ruled out a £15million move to Everton via his Instagram account. The Brazilian was lined up by Toffees boss Roberto Martinez as the ideal replacement for Belgian Marouane Fellaini, who is expected to join Manchester United later this evening.
However, the 26-year-old has confirmed he plans to stay at Porto on Instagram, stating that he intends to remain loyal and win his fourth title with the Portuguese club. No thanks: Fernando appears to have ruled out a move to Everton (Picture: Instagram) The midfielder wrote: ‘Todos os Portistas podem contar comigo rumo ao tetra! #somosporto,’ which roughly translates to ‘all Porto fans can rely on me for the title.’ Everton remain in the hunt for Wigan’s James McCarthy, while a possible loan move for Manchester City’s Gareth Barry is still also on the cards. The deal for the England international hinges on City agreeing to pay a portion of Barry’s huge £100,000 per-week wages.
Man Utd close in on Fellaini as Everton hope for Baines stay and eye move for McCarthy
MAROUANE FELLAINI is closing in on a move to Manchester United after being given permission to delay joining up with the Belgium squad for international duty.
By Nick Lustig 2nd September 2013
Former Everton manager David Moyes is desperate to land the combative midfielder as he looks to make his first significant signing on the final day of the transfer window since taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes failed in a £28m double bid to take the Fellaini and Leighton Baines to Old Trafford earlier this month. However, the Scot is hoping he can complete a transfer for the 25-year-old with a deal close to being agreed between the Toffees and United. “In contrast a move for Baines is looking less likely, with Roberto Martinez determined to keep the left-back at Goodison Park regardless of any late move from United” The fee is expected to be more than Belgian international's £23m release clause, that expired at the beginning of this month.
In contrast a move for Baines is looking less likely, with Roberto Martinez determined to keep the left-back at Goodison Park regardless of any late move from United. Baines, who made it clear to the club's hierarchy last week he wanted to leave for the Premier League champions, is seen by the Spaniard as key to his project. Martinez is hoping the sale of Fellaini will release the needed funds to complete a deal for Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy. The £15m-rated Republic of Ireland international has been a key target for Everton throughout the summer. Latics manager Owen Coyle revealed, after his side's 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the weekend, conversations had taken place between chairman Dave Whelan and Martinez over the potential sale of McCarthy.
Fellaini hands in transfer request in bid to force Man Utd move
2 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Blues and United still locked in negotiations as transfer window draws to close
Marouane Fellaini has handed Everton a transfer request as the midfielder looks to cement a move to Manchester United. The Belgium international made the formal request to leave the Blues during a meeting at their Finch Farm training ground earlier this evening. Fellaini, 25, is worried that his dream move to Old Trafford won’t happen before tonight’s transfer deadline, as the Red Devils and Everton continue to negotiate without reaching an agreement. The sticking point remains Everton’s £25m valuation of the former Standard Liege man, with United reluctant to match it. Blues chairman Bill Kenwright is reluctant to compromise however, as Fellaini has two years remaining on his contract and the Toffees do not have to sell for financial reasons. Fellaini and his advisors hope the transfer request will put pressure on the Blues board to sell, in the knowledge that the player has his heart set on a move to the reigning champions.
Triple transfer coup for Everton on deadline day
3 Sep 2013Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Everton FC land James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry in eleventh hour deals
James McCarthy has signed for Everton FC
Everton FC sealed a deadline-busting triple transfer coup by landing James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry. The Blues had chased Wigan midfielder McCarthy all summer , and finally confirmed his signature in a £13.5m switch at the dramatic end of a day when the long-anticipated move almost collapsed entirely. Roberto Martinez had been set to turn his attentions to Porto’s defensive midfielder Fernando when talks with Latics chairman Dave Whelan over McCarthy stalled at lunch-time. But despite that impasse, after which Whelan publicly lambasted the Blues for initially trying to sign the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international with a deal based on four instalments, they finally succeeded. “Roberto Martinez moved to boost his midfield by signing James McCarthy from his own former club Wigan Athletic,” read a statement on the club's official website. The highly-rated 22-year-old arrives with an impressive reputation as one of the game's brightest young talents.” Whelan had gone on radio to blast Everton's initial bid, but revealed that the two clubs had eventually reached an agreement over the pay structure of the deal. “They've been realistic and have matched our valuation. They are going to pay us much, much quicker than they said they would earlier,” he said. “It's now up to them and they have to try and get it through. If he goes, he goes, and we wish him all the best, if it doesn't go through then I hope he'll play as normal for Wigan.” Martinez had long coveted the player he signed from Hamilton Academical in 2009, and only switched his attention to Brazilian Fernando when he feared being priced out of the former. But Fernando appeared reluctant to leave Portugal, and it focused the Blues on driving through a move for McCarthy - who had spent the summer patiently waiting for his own preferred switch to Merseyside to happen. The Blues also captured the imagination of supporters by securing the season-long loan of Chelsea's powerful striker Romelu Lukaku. The frontman, 20, switched from the Stamford Bridge outfit after enjoying a productive temporary spell at West Brom last season - when he plundered 17 goals from 20 starts. The Baggies thought they were in pole position to agree a second loan for the Belgium international hit-man, but Everton out-muscled them with an offer of more lucrative terms after recouping a bumper £27.5m fee for Marouane Fellaini and up to £6m for Victor Anichebe. Barry, meanwhile, has joined on a temporary basis after finding first-team opportunities hard to come by at the Etihad Stadium. “The final piece of the deadline day jigsaw sees England international and Premier League and FA Cup winner Gareth Barry arrive from Manchester City,” added the Blues in an official statement. “The 32-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the Everton midfield having also played for Aston Villa in the Premier League.”
Fellaini finally makes United switch in £27.5m deal
3 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
The Belgian international handed in a transfer request during a meeting at Finch Farm last night in a bid to press through his dream move to Old Trafford
Marouane Fellaini sealed a late £27.5m switch to Manchester United - as Everton FC eventually made David Moyes pay a premium to be reunited with the Belgium midfielder. The 25-year-old handed in a transfer request during a meeting at Finch Farm last night in a bid to press through his dream move to Old Trafford, as he began to fear a breakthrough in negotiations between the clubs was unlikely. However, Bill Kenwright was prepared to hold out for a fee which eventually fell only £500,000 short of matching the “derisory” joint offer United made 48 hours before the season began for both Fellaini and England left-back Leighton Baines. In an ultimately encouraging conclusion to the summer-long saga over the pair’s future, Everton reluctantly parted with Fellaini while still ensuring a £10.5m profit on a player they signed from Standard Liege in 2008.
Meanwhile, they resisted all overtures from Moyes and United chief executive Ed Woodward to land Baines, with the Three Lions defender simply deemed irreplaceable by Roberto Martinez and his chairman. During a whirlwind afternoon of fraught negotiations, the sticking point with Fellaini’s switch to Old Trafford remained Everton’s significant valuation of the 6ft4in iconic midfielder, with United dragging their feet over matching it. Kenwright was in no mood to compromise however, as Fellaini has two years remaining on his contract and the Toffees did not have to sell for financial reasons. Fellaini and his advisors were hoping the transfer request would put pressure on the Blues board to relent. But Everton knew United - who had failed to land any of their summer targets and saw a separate move for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera collapse - needed to seal a deal for Fellaini or face intense scrutiny of their transfer fortunes during the window. Fellaini, who scored 25 goals for Everton throughout 141 appearances, had become a popular figure among the Goodison faithful for his dominant displays and iconic afro hairstyle. But he had made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football, and could have left earlier in the summer had United triggered a £23.5m release clause in his contract which expired on July 31.
Man United leave it late to sign Fellaini but miss out on last-gasp move for Coentrao
3 Sep 2013 Manchester Evening News
By Peter Spencer
The new Reds boss David Moyes has filled the midfield slot he wanted to strengthen, but not with the player the fans particularly wanted – and not at the price the club wanted United got their man...and they did it in Moyes time! The new Reds boss David Moyes has filled the midfield slot he wanted to strengthen, but not with the player the fans particularly wanted – and not at the price the club wanted. And phew did he leave it late to sign Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m.
But it will be a transfer window United supporters will want to forget – one in which they were promised so much but ultimately left with so little. The expected deal for Belgian Fellaini – famous for his Afro hair-do – was in doubt and only confirmed 25 minutes after the 11pm deadline and it only came about after the midfielder had driven to Everton’s training ground to put in a bombshell transfer request. And United have had to up their price for Fellaini having at one point offered Everton just £500,000 more for the midfielder AND Leighton Baines.
The Reds had also hoped to seal a deal for Real Madrid
left-back Fabio Coentrao on a season-long loan, but Madrid failed to bring in a replacement in time ending Moyes’ hopes. As the inquest into the window dealings began today, Reds fans are asking why United didn’t compete with Arsenal, who pulled off a coup by landing Mesut Ozil for £42m from Real Madrid. The jigsaw that led to Fellaini eventually leaving Everton began with Reds starlet Nick Powell joining Wigan and the Latics accepting a £12m bid for James McCarthy from
Goodison – and at the same time in a dramatic last 20 minutes before the deadline Gareth Barry joined Everton from City on loan. Any joy about Fellaini’s signing was tempered by two of Moyes’ other targets – Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera – not arriving. The biggest farce was in Spain where it was reported imposters posing as United officials tried to complete a £35m deal for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Herrera with La Liga officials. It meant United, who had met the clause in
Herrera’s contract allowing the the 24 year-old to complete a move to Old Trafford, were unable to complete the transfer to add to the signing of Fellaini.
Out of the dark and into the Blue: Barry's move to Everton has saved him from a season in the wilderness at Man City
By Dominic King
3 September 2013 Daily Mail
Gareth Barry has expressed his relief that he is able to relaunch his career following his deadline day move to Everton after admitting he feared spending a season in the wilderness.
The England international saw his season-long loan from Manchester City ratified just before the 11pm deadline and, having been impressed with the conversations he has had with Roberto Martinez, Barry is now looking forward to focusing on playing football once again.
Barry had been made surplus to requirements by Manchester City but, as Everton were the only club in for him, he was concerned that the failure to complete the deal would have left him facing months on the periphery, barely being used by Manuel Pellegrini. Now, though, he is poised to play a significant role for Everton boss Martinez and is aiming to help his new club, who have opened the season with three straight draws, get involved in the race for fourth place and, in the process, bolster his England ambitions. Barry said: 'It was pretty late in the end but I stayed pretty relaxed about it all. I was desperate to join Everton but you know that there can always be some snags in the last half hour. You do start fearing the worst and I did start thinking that I might have to go into training with Man City tomorrow. 'Firstly, it's all about playing regular football in the Premier League. I haven't joined Everton to try and help my England ambitions but that will come if I'm playing consistently well for Everton. 'I wasn't comfortable with my last year at City, with not playing, so now I'm looking to establish myself here. It was made clear to me that I wasn't going to be guaranteed first team football. 'I was comfortable with that but as pre-season went on it became clear that I wasn't going to feature and that's when I started to think about a move. I got my head around that and I'm grateful now to be at Everton but I'm also grateful for four fantastic years at City.' Barry, who was part of City's leagie and FA Cup winning squads, added: 'As soon as I heard of Everton's interest and spoke to Roberto Martinez. I knew I wanted to come here. He had a big part to play. 'Over the past decade Everton have always been challenging. That's why I want to come here and also to try and help them to improve. Obviously there are done fantastic teams out there but there's no reason why we can't compete for fourth.'
Fellaini thrilled to join "biggest club in the world"
3 Sep 2013Manchester Evening News
New Manchester United signing Marouane Fellaini has waited his whole life to sign for the club and is delighted to finally be at Old Trafford.
Marouane Fellaini has spoken of his delight after completing a "dream" move to Old Trafford.
The Belgian midfielder completed his reunion with former Everton boss David Moyes at the end of a hectic transfer deadline day, with email confirmation of the deal only arriving at around 4am on Tuesday morning. Speaking to the official club website, Fellaini admitted it was a big relief to seal the move “I’m very, very happy. It’s a big moment for me,” he said. “I waited for a long time, I’ve worked hard for this and I’m very happy to join this big club, this great club. “I hope to do everything for this club.” He added: “When I was young it was a dream to play for Manchester United. “Now I’m here so I’ll try to give my best to the club. I want to win trophies. That’s the most important thing.” Wayne Rooney on Fellaini: "Would like to welcome Marouane Fellaini to the club, he has always played really well against us and is a much better player than he is often given credit for.
West Brom smash transfer record with Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe deals
Albion smashed their transfer record as they pulled off a potential £12m deadline-night double-deal for Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe.
September 3 2013 Express & Star
Sunderland forward Sessegnon became the Baggies’ new record signing with a £5.5m switch from Wearside but Anichebe could break the record again with his move from Everton set to eventually hit £6m. The Baggies went on a final-day spending spree after slumping to the foot of the Premier League and finally offloaded want-away striker Peter Odemwingie to Cardiff for an initial £2.5m.
But head coach Steve Clarke missed out on a new loan deal for fans’ favourite Romelu Lukaku and faces a tricky meeting with former record signing Shane Long next week after allowing the Ireland striker to speak to Hull over a £5m switch, only to pull the plug late on. The Baggies confirmed the signing of Sessegnon at around 10.30pm with the down-payment believed to be £5.5m with the fee potentially rising to £6m. And they were then involved in a tense late-night tug of war with Everton for Lukaku after Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho performed a last-minute U-turn and sanctioned a loan move for the 20-year-old. Lukaku eventually moved to Goodison Park but the battle delayed the signing of 25-year-old Anichebe and Albion then had to wait to ensure the paperwork had been received in time. The Baggies had earlier agreed a £5m fee with Hull for Long, who has been unable to agree a new contract at The Hawthorns. The striker flew from the Ireland camp to Hull for talks and a medical and looked set to move but the delay on the Anichebe signing meant Clarke was unable to sanction a deal. Odemwingie agreed personal terms and passed a medical yesterday but legal wrangling meant that deal – which Albion say could reach almost £4m – was not announced until after 11pm. Albion had earlier confirmed the loan signing of Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano and a short-term deal for keeper Lee Camp.
West Brom pay £6m for Everton's Victor Anichebe
September 3 2013 The Express & Star
West Brom have completed their second big-money signing of transfer deadline-day with the signing of Everton striker Victor Anichebe in a £6million deal.
The Toffees have confirmed the sale to the Baggies in a transfer that could be worth up to £6million if add-ons are paid, although Albion have not made a statement yet. That would be a similar price to Stephane Sessegnon, who signed from Sunderland earlier in the day for an initial £5.5million.
West Brom also confirmed the loan signing of Morgan Amalfitano from Marseille and the short-term capture of goalkeeper Lee Camp earlier in the day. But striker Shane Long is certain to demand answers when he returns from international duty after the Baggies gave him the green light to sign for Hull in a £5million deal, only to pull the plug at the 11th hour.
Martinez in treble swoop as Fellaini finally makes Manchester United switch
3 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Doyle
Everton FC sign James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku as Fellaini heads to Old Trafford in £27.5m deal
Roberto Martinez made a deadline-busting treble swoop as Marouane Fellaini made a £27.5million exit from Everton on an extraordinary night. On a hectic transfer deadline day, the Goodison outfit left it until the last minute to agree a £13m deal to sign Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy and season-long loan moves for Manchester City’s Gareth Barry and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.
Fellaini made his long-mooted move to Manchester United and was followed through the exit door by Victor Anichebe, who has joined West Bromwich Albion for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m. However, United failed in their attempts to lure Leighton Baines away from Goodison, instead signing a loan deal for Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao. Fellaini was tracked by United for much of the summer with departed Everton manager David Moyes, now in charge at Old Trafford, keen to be reunited with his former midfielder. Having seen Everton reject a succession of bids for his services – the most recent of which valued the player at around £25m – Fellaini finally showed his hand by handing in a transfer request to Martinez earlier on transfer deadline day.
But it wasn’t until just before the 11pm deadline the deal was finally completed, with United paying significantly more than the £23.5m buy-out clause that expired at the end of July. Everton are obliged to hand over 20% of the fee to Fellaini’s previous club Standard Liege. Martinez had been in London earlier in the day for a work permit hearing having targeted Porto’s Fernando to strengthen his midfield options, irrespective of Fellaini’s imminent departure. However, the transfer faltered with Porto unable to agree a fee and, according to reports in Portugal, Fernando deciding he would be best served staying at the Portuguese champions. Everton instead stepped up their pursuit of England international Barry, ultimately negotiating a loan deal with City, who would have preferred a permanent transfer. Martinez spent much of the day chasing McCarthy from former club Wigan, but Everton were finding the £15m asking price of Latics chairman Dave Whelan prohibitive.
Whelan, though, eventually accepted a £13m offer from the Goodison outfit with 22-year-old McCarthy keen to move back to the Premier League. Everton faced a battle with West Brom to sign Lukaku, who spent last season on loan at The Hawthorns, but pushed through a deal during the last hour of the transfer window. Lukaku’s arrival was key to allowing Anichebe to depart more than seven years after making his breakthrough into the Everton first team. One exit earlier in the day was Francisco Junior, the Portuguese youth international joining Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on loan until the end of the season. Meanwhile, Conor McAleny’s loan spell at Brentford has been cancelled. The 21-year-old joined the Bees on a six-month deal in July but fractured his right tibia in just his fourth appearance for the League One club last month. McAleny will return to Finch Farm to continue his rehabilitation.
Barry relieved to leave City
3 Sep 2013 Manchester Evening News
Midfielder Gareth Barry says he would not have been comfortable staying at Manchester City this season and not playing in the first team. Gareth Barry admits he had been starting to "fear the worst" before his season-long loan switch from Manchester City to Everton was completed late on transfer deadline day. It was not until after the summer window had closed at 11pm on Monday that the Toffees confirmed the deal for the 32-year-old midfielder. And asked if he had been worried the move would not go through, Barry said: "Yes. "I think when you get into that last hour and there are still a few snags between the two clubs, with not everything sorted yet, you do fear the worst and start thinking you might be going into training with Manchester City.
"But I'm grateful it all went through." Barry's contract with City, who he joined from Aston Villa in 2009, comes to an end next summer and he had been told by the Etihad Stadium outfit that he could not be guaranteed first-team football in the 2013-14 campaign. He said: "It was important for me to make that decision - whether I was happy to see out my last year at Manchester City and not really feature at all. "That was never something I was going to be comfortable with I think. "I have been lucky enough to play regularly throughout my career. "So I want to try to establish myself in the first team here, get a regular spot in the team and try to get a consistent run of games and good form together. "Virtually straight away at the end of the season and at the start of pre-season it was made clear that I wasn't going to be guaranteed regular first-team football ( at City ). "Being 32 in a big squad with a lot of players, I could have dealt with that. "But as pre-season went on and then the first games came, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to feature in squads and that I was going to have to wait for a couple of injuries. "So that's when I started thinking it could be time to start looking elsewhere for regular football."
Here's what Everton are getting with Lukaku! A beast of a striker who had a better scoring ratio than Benteke last season
By Neil Moxley
3 September 2013 Daily Mail
It did not take West Bromwich Albion's players long to come up with a nickname for Romelu Lukaku last season. After just one training session his talents had been assessed and the new boy christened. Thereafter he became known as 'The Beast.'
Why? Well, he had spent the session bullying, harrying and powering his way around the 1st team training pitch. Hot shot: Romelu Lukaku scored 17 goals for West Brom last season
It appeared to be the obvious choice. And, after a late-night tug-of-war between Everton and West Brom ended in a successful chase for Roberto Martinez, it is Goodison Park that will stage the latest episode in the 20-year-old's development. So, what are the Toffees getting for their money? Why all the hype? First, those Baggies' first-teamers are right. He is a beast of a physical specimen. And, when he hits his straps, a beast of a player too. For all the plaudits received by Lukaku's international stable-mate Christian Benteke down the road at Aston Villa, if statistics are to be believed, then it was the on-loan Chelsea striker that provided better value-for-money last term.
Benteke found the net once every 148 minutes. Lukaku did likewise in 117 minutes. He also played 11 hours fewer than is colleague but was only two goals behind in the scoring stakes.
It was, for both of them, their inaugural season in the Premier League. While Benteke's incredible ability in the air gave him a natural advantage inside the penalty area, Lukaku is a more rounded player. Although there is no doubt that he is primarily left-footed, his goals were spread pretty evenly between his left and right feet and his head. And the power, the pace and the fact that he can score all sorts of different goals, has led to the obvious comparisons with Didier Drogba, another Chelsea forward. It is perhaps lazy to point out the similarities. They are uncanny.
But there are also differences. Lukaku's hold up play isn't anywhere near as good as Drogba's.
His consistency isn't anywhere near the level necessary to play for a team with the pressure Chelsea's players are put under every three days. There were occasions last season when he drifted out of games. But he was 19 years of age. That consistency, that improvement will all come in good time. What he has got are other attributes. Qualities that will enable him to grow.
He's got power. He's got pace - look at his goal for the Baggies against Sunderland last season at the Hawthorns - and he worries defenders with those basic qualities. He can carry the ball with his left foot. He has a decent work ethic. He's got good pass selection and was very much regarded as a team player by his club-mates at the Hawthorns. He can be used on his own - but that's an area where he could improve - or with a partner. But he revelled in being the main man. He's good away from home too as he can counter quickly with that speed. And he clearly knows where the net is.
Off the pitch? He was quiet. He spent time with Benteke - they lived in adjacent apartment complexes - and wasn't one for the bright lights. It's all good. If he can be provided with decent service then, Everton fans, you are in for a treat. If Lukaku has improved his consistency and understands what the Premier League demands of him more regularly, he could be one of the buys of the summer - even at £5m for one season. It may have been a snap decision taken by Roberto Martinez on the afternoon of transfer deadline day. But, having seen Lukaku play at close quarters on numerous occasions last season, it looks like being one of the best pieces of business of the summer.
Gareth Barry keen to get started at Everton after completing deadline-day loan switch from Manchester City
3 Sep 2013 Daily Mirror
The England international, 32, is looking forward to a new challenge on Merseyside after joining the Toffees on loan Gareth Barry cannot wait to get started for new club Everton after sealing a loan move from Manchester City late on Sunday night. The England international put pen to paper just before the 11pm deadline and is keen to repay the faith shown in him by Roberto Martinez.
"It's been a long day and the deal was done late but it was something that I always hoped would get over the line," he told the official Everton website. "I'm really looking forward to meeting up with the lads and helping Everton to progress. "I know all about Everton's history and it's a fantastic club. I've enjoyed playing games at Goodison Park, the atmosphere is always fantastic."
The Toffees have drawn all three of their Premier League games so far, but Barry is confident that better form is just around the corner: "To be honest as soon as I heard about Everton's interest I have paid a lot of attention to the opening games," he said. "The bits I've seen, they've been unlucky not to win the games that they drew." The 32-year old midfielder also admits he's looking forward to playing in front of the Goodison Park crowd. "The atmosphere is one of the best in the Premier League. The noise the fans make and the way they can upset opposing teams is fantastic for the players playing for Everton."
James McCarthy is ‘going to great club’ at Everton
James McCarthy: Delighted. Picture: Getty
by DAMIAN SPELLMAN
04 September 2013
James McCarthy belatedly joined up with the Republic of Ireland squad yesterday morning after completing his deadline-day move to Everton. The midfielder trained with his international colleagues at Malahide for the first time after being given permission to delay his arrival by manager Giovanni Trapattoni. He was joined by West Brom striker Shane Long, who dashed back to England on Monday night as Hull attempted, ultimately in vain, to sign him. Skipper Robbie Keane and defender Darren O’Dea both trained following their arrivals from America and Canada respectively, but Stoke defender Marc Wilson sat out once again as he nursed his ankle problem and keepers David Forde and Darren Randolph took no part in the game at the end of the session. However, assistant manager Marco Tardelli is confident all three will be fit for Friday night’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden. No-one was more delighted than Jon Walters when Republic of Ireland team-mate McCarthy completed his deadline day move to Everton. “He was delighted to get the move,” said Merseyside-born Stoke striker Walters. “I’m an Everton fan as well, so I am delighted for him. He’s going to a great club and he’s got friends there with Seamus [Coleman] as well, going to a manager he knows and who trusts him, so it’s a great move for him.” It proved an eventful end to the transfer window for another member of the Ireland squad, with Long failing to tie up a move to Hull, much to the disappointment of potential new club-mates Paul McShane and Robbie Brady.
However, Walters is confident the collapse of Long’s proposed transfer will not distract him. He said: “The Hull lads are a bit gutted they didn’t get him but he’s at West Brom and he’s had a really good couple of years there and I don’t expect any different from him next year.”
Gareth Barry: I will put Everton FC before England duty
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Midfielder looking forward to season-long loan spell with the Blues
Gareth Barry insists he is not even thinking about the possibility of an England recall after sealing his season-long loan move to Everton. The Manchester City midfielder was one of three deadline-day signings at Goodison Park, completing his switch minutes before Monday night’s 11pm cut-off. The 32-year-old was joined by Wigan’s James McCarthy, who sealed a £13m move, and Romelu Lukaku, who joined on loan from Chelsea. Barry arrives on Merseyside having found himself frozen out at the Etihad Stadium under new City boss Manuel Pellegrini. His England career, too, has stalled, with the last of his 53 caps coming in May 2012. Despite this, and despite the looming presence of a World Cup next summer, the former Aston Villa man says he will be focused solely on Everton in the coming campaign. Barry said: “Firstly, it’s all about playing regular football in the Premier League. I haven’t joined Everton to try and help my England ambitions but that will come if I’m playing consistently well for Everton. “It’s something that it’s in the background at the minute really.
“I’ve not been involved in an England squad for a year now, so my initial targets are to play well for Everton. “It would be a big bonus if an England call came on the back of it. That would be a bonus for Everton too because it would mean we would be playing well. “Every footballer wants to feature in a World Cup. I’m no different. That would be a massive bonus, but there is a lot of hard work to do before that. Things will have to go very well for me at Everton for that to happen. If they do, that would be brilliant.” On his decision to make the move from City, he added: “It was made clear to me that I wasn’t going to be guaranteed first team football. “I wasn’t comfortable with my last year at City, with not playing, so now I’m looking to establish myself here. I’m grateful now to be at Everton but I’m also grateful for four fantastic years at City. “As soon as I heard of Everton’s interest and spoke to Roberto Martinez. I knew I wanted to come here. He had a big part to play. “Over the past decade Everton have always been challenging. “That’s why I want to come here and also to try and help them to improve. Obviously there are done fantastic teams out there but there’s no reason why we can’t compete for fourth.”
Revealed - Gareth Barry tells how he was driving around waiting for confirmation Everton FC deal was on
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Midfielder gives insight into a tense few hours on transfer deadline day
AND as it came, so it went.
Deadline day has been and gone. Jim White can pack away his yellow tie and his extra decibel for another five months, and the children of Merseyside/Stoke/North London/Manchester can go home and prepare for the new school term. It was quite a night. Particularly, in the end, at Goodison Park.
Everton are a club that tends to sail close to the wind where transfer deadline day is concerned, but this year the feeling is that they have got their deals right, even if they did leave it pretty late.
There were only minutes remaining before the 11pm cut-off when Gareth Barry’s car swung into Finch Farm. The midfielder’s signing, on a season-long loan from Manchester City, was confirmed soon after Big Ben had chimed, with James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku joining the 32-year-old at Goodison. With Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe leaving the club, it was a whirlwind final hour. No wonder Barry looked bleary-eyed as he sat down for his first press call as an Everton player.
“It was a bit of a late one,” he smiles. “I was sat at home around 7 o’clock, then I got a call to get in my car and come over this way because the deal is close. “Then, the next thing, I’m sitting in my car being told it’s not done, so I can’t make the full journey into the training ground because not everything has been agreed. Then I got the call to say that it had been agreed and I was on my way again. “I was sat here late on Monday and suddenly James McCarthy comes through the door as well, and we’re both sat there watching Sky Sports!” The thought of Barry, accompanied by his agent Michael Standing, driving in circles around Halewood whilst waiting for his phone to ring, is a surreal one, one which evokes memories of Peter Odemwingie’s infamous attempts to secure a move to QPR back in January. “That’s why I didn’t come too close to the training ground!” laughs Barry. “You learn from things like that. “I was with Mike, who was driving around wasting his petrol. We stopped off for a coffee, but we weren’t too far away when the call came. Just out of sight of the cameras, thankfully!” Barry’s description of the madness of deadline day is a succinct one, and provides a useful insight into what goes through the mind of a footballer who finds himself caught up in the circus. “You’re speaking to people, your agent is speaking to people, and they’re trying to stay positive,” he says. “But when you’re sat in your car at 10 o’clock, you’re thinking ‘there’s not much time here’. You start to think ‘I’m going to have to go training with Manchester City tomorrow’, so it can be difficult. You’re trying to get your head round two different possibilities.
“When do you start panicking? It probably is around half ten. It just seems strange that you have three months to get these deals done, and the majority of them go through in that last hour.”
He has a point, though there is no doubt Barry is glad of the chance to move clubs, however late in the day that chance arrived. It has been a tough 12 months for the England international. From being a key player for both club and country, and a Premier League title-winner at City, he has found himself marginalised by both. Manuel Pellegrini had not even been appointed at the Etihad when Barry was told, by director of football Txiki Begiristain, that he was surplus to requirements.
“He phoned my agent and said that regular football would not be guaranteed next season,” Barry explains. “That was the first button that was pushed. I was keen to meet the new manager and try and impress him. I wasn’t going to just roll over and move without the manager seeing me day-to-day and watching me closely. “But as it’s gone on, it’s clear that it was time to move.
“I haven’t been pushed out at all. I’ve trained every day with the first team, so there was nothing like that. “But when the squads were announced, I wasn’t travelling for friendlies, and so the writing’s on the wall when that happens. If you want to be playing regular first-team football, then it’s time to move. “I just don’t think I’d have been a happy person, sitting there not playing. Even in the first pre-season game, I didn’t travel to play Arsenal in Finland, and I was sitting at home feeling grumpy.
“Once the Premier League started and I was sat at home watching Sky and Match of the Day, knowing I wasn’t involved, I wasn’t a happy person. “I’ve seen players that are sitting round, not playing and picking up their wages. “You can make a joke of it sometimes and say it’s an easy life, but generally those people aren’t living a happy life. They’re not playing football, not doing what they always wanted to do. “You get into a different routine. You go into training knowing that no matter what you do, how hard you train, it isn’t going to affect the manager’s decision.
“This will be a fresh start for me, mentally, to know that I have a chance to feature in a top Premier League game.”
Ian Snodin: Everton's late show means transfer window was great for the club
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Blues left it late, but new arrivals are very exciting
I tell you what, deadline day was a bit close for comfort wasn’t it? At one point, I was worrying that Everton might lose out as the minutes ticked away, but I think that turned around very quickly.
It was a real whirlwind as the deadline came and went. And when the dust settles, I’m sure a lot of Evertonians will be very pleased with what the club has managed to do. Sure, there will be some sadness at the loss of Marouane Fellaini (as I will mention elsewhere), but the three additions we managed to secure are all very good players, and will make Roberto Martinez’s squad a much stronger one. Romelu Lukaku, for me, is the big one. That came from nowhere, seemingly, and I think every Blue will be thrilled at the idea of the Belgian leading our attacking line. He’s only a young lad, but he showed last season that he has what it takes to be a massive success in the Premier League. He scored 17 goals in what was a pretty defensive West Bromwich Albion side, and he wasn’t always a regular starter. That’s some record for a lad who only turned 20 in May.
I think it’s been clear from the first three games of the season that we need some extra firepower, and Lukaku will certainly provide that. He’s strong, built like a man, he’s quick and he has power in his running. I think he will be a really smashing signing for Everton. Likewise Gareth Barry. I will hold my hands up and admit that when Liverpool were looking at paying £15-20m for him a few years ago, I thought it was too much. I don’t think he’s a £20m player. But as a loan signing, where you are just covering off a part of his wages, it makes real sense. Roberto likes to play with passing, holding midfielders, and I am sure Gareth will slot in in front of the back four nicely. He’s got great experience and pedigree – he was a Premier League winner little more than a year ago, remember – and he will help get Everton playing I am sure. And with his contract up at the end of the current season, there might be the chance to make the move permanent on a free transfer too.
James McCarthy, I have to admit I haven’t seen too much of. I was at Wigan’s game with Doncaster last month, and I confess the lad didn’t stand out. That, though, was just one game. Nobody knows James better than Roberto, and he will know exactly how to get the best out of him. He’s a hungry young lad with a point to prove in the Premier League, and that can only be a good thing for Everton.
All in all, it’s been a pretty productive summer at Goodison. Now let’s hope we start adding some results into the mix as well.
Marouane Fellaini leaves great memories
It was a bit of a sad ending, but I’m sure Evertonians will join me in wishing Marouane Fellaini all the best after his move to Manchester United. I got to know Marouane during our trip to China last year, and I found him to be a really great kid. He’s always made time for me since.
It’s a big loss for Everton, though I believe it is a good deal for the club. If you think back to when Manchester United were offering £28m for Fellaini AND Baines, to then get £27.5m for just Fellaini is pretty good going. Everton have used some of that money wisely, but it will be hard to replace what Felli brings. I’ve felt he has been a tad wasted in the games he’s played this season. He’s played deep in the centre of midfield, when I feel he’s far more effective as an attacking midfielder.
He should make a big impact at United, where he will be playing under the man who knows him better than anyone. But he leaves Everton with some wonderful memories, and as a real fans’ favourite. For me, the best game he ever played for Everton was, ironically, against Manchester United, on the opening weekend of last season. He was unplayable that day, absolutely awesome. I won’t forget it. Best of luck Felli, and thanks for the memories.
Jon Walters: Sky's the limit for James McCarthy
David Kelly – 04 September 2013
While professionally he is eager to embrace the eccentric possibilities arising from Stephen Ireland's latest attempt at rehabilitation, the Wirral-born player's curiosity was more than a little piqued by the transfer business being conducted by Everton. His boyhood club, arguably top of the class in their last-minute wheeling and dealing, eventually secured the signature of Ireland's James McCarthy late on Monday night. And, as his country prepares for something significant from the midfielder this week, so too does his international team-mate. "It's a really good move for him," enthused the 29-year-old. "Obviously the manager knows him pretty well and that's always a good sign when a manager wants you that much that he's willing to spend all that money on you.
"James won't be moving a far distance and he's already got a good friend at the club in Seamus Coleman. He'll fit right in, I'm sure he will. "He's a top player and I know there were a few clubs courting him over the last year or so. They've got a really good buy and it's the team I support, so yeah, I'm reasonably happy about it too!" "He's at the right age now to show that potential even more. The manager knows him well and he can only improve like he's been doing in the past few years. "The sky is the limit for him really. It's up to him now how much he can improve, day by day and how much he works at it. He's not one to fall short there so he'll be a top, top player, I'm sure of that." Aside from eyeing McCarthy's move and propagating the frankly risible party line that Shane Long remained entirely unaffected by the farcical manner in which he spent his Monday afternoon, the arrival of a familiar enough face at his own club also sparks some interest. With Stephen Ireland pitching up at the Britannia Stadium, there will be renewed interest among his dwindling fan club that an Irish international with a chequered past and an uncertain future can, against all expectations, make the most of the present. Ireland (27), whose international career remains stuck on six caps, confirmed as much yesterday in media soundbites as he attempts to resuscitate a career that has predominantly suffered from self-harm.
Scotland's most expensive - and down to earth - footballer James McCarthy buys £1m luxury home for his parents
4 Sep 2013 Daily Record
By Criag McQueen
THE 22-year-old who was brough up in Castlemilk, has made his way through the junior ranks and this week signed for Everton from Wigan for £13million.
SCOTLAND’S most expensive footballer has bought his parents a £1million house.
James McCarthy splashed out on the stunning six-bedroom property as a big thank-you to mum Marie and dad Willie. It is three miles away from the council house where the footballer was brought up. James, 22, this week signed for Everton from Wigan for £13million – making him Scotland’s most expensive football export of all time. Those who know the player are certain he will never forget his roots in Castlemilk, Glasgow. Former next-door neighbour Billy Torrance said: “James’s parents looked after him well and he is doing the same now. “Everyone in the street still talks about him. No one has a bad word to say about him.” Friends and neighbours said James was always destined to hit the big time in football – thanks to the work ethic instilled in him by his parents. He came through the youth ranks with Hamilton Accies and broke into the first team when he was 16. It was clear early on that James was something special on the pitch. But as our picture shows, he was always happy to muck in with the rest of the youth players, whether it was sweeping down the stands or cleaning the senior players’ boots. James was sold to Wigan in 2009 but he was a regular visitor to his family in Scotland. Billy, 73, added: “He would always stop and speak to me whenever he was up from England. “When he was younger, James didn’t drink or smoke, hang about with gangs or anything like that. “A lot of young boys ran about in big groups and hung about the streets, but he didn’t do that. “He is a nice chap. The whole family are.” James bought the house in Thorntonhall, Lanarkshire, for his parents late last year. Billy added: “It’s not a surprise they moved. You’re not going to stay at a wee rented home down here when your son is playing at that level. When they were leaving, his dad said he was going to miss all the neighbours. He said he’ll never forget his roots. “You get proud when someone in your scheme does well.” James’s old PE teacher at St Margaret Mary’s secondary school in Castlemilk also sang the player’s praises.
Elaine McLaren said: “He was brilliant at all activities. “He could have a big match on a Saturday coming up but he would be in with us doing gymnastics and never once asked to be excused.
“His attitude was brilliant. He was a very popular boy. The kids had a lot of respect for him.
“There was never one bit of trouble with him. The pupils still talk about him and how well he has done. He is an inspiration.” John Burke, who has worked in the PE department for 35 years, added: “The striking thing about James was his positive attitude. He was never a big-headed boy.
“He has a great personality and a sense of humour.” Midfielder James agreed that there is no danger his football success will go to his head. He said in an interview: “I’m not into bling. I won’t be getting tattoos. “The way I’ve been brought up is brilliant. My family are perfect for me. They wouldn’t speak to me if I came home with a big stud in my ear and they’d never let me get ‘big-time’.” James’s international allegiances are with the Republic of Ireland. Yesterday, he joined the squad for training at Malahide.
Billy Reid admits he is still gutted Scotland failed to court James McCarthy and allowed Ireland to claim his former protege
4 Sep 2013 Daily Record
EX-HAMILTON boss rues fact our country's most expensive player will never wear the Dark Blue after Accies kid slipped through the net.
BILLY REID will be 2000 miles from Hampden on Friday night.
But the pangs of disappointment that James McCarthy won’t be starring in a Scotland shirt will still jar him as sharply as they have ever done. Even from his holiday in Turkey, Reid felt sheer delight when news filtered through of the midfielder’s £13million deadline-day move to Everton.
Reid, of course, nurtured McCarthy’s talents at Hamilton as a 15-year-old kid. He gave him a platform to perform and – via Wigan Athletic – the Glaswegian midfielder hasn’t looked back since.
But amidst the pride he feels at McCarthy’s meteoric rise from a housing estate in Castlemilk to the Premier League, Reid still can’t believe that Scotland chose to ignore him. While SFA coaches dithered then decided he wasn’t good enough for us, the Republic of Ireland stepped in.
It’s no surprise he is now a regular under Giovanni Trapattoni.Reid will watch Scotland’s clash with Belgium at Hampden on Friday wishing McCarthy was beside his other Accies protege, James McArthur, in Gordon Strachan’s engine room. And he admits he’s still astonished that a kid with £13m worth of ability was allowed to slip through the net. Reid told Record Sport: “I still find it staggering that we aren’t going to Hampden to see James in a Scotland jersey. I can’t believe he was missed. “I’m not just saying this now, I’ve been saying it for years. It’s incredible that James was playing in Hamilton’s first team as a 15-year-old but wasn’t deemed good enough for Scotland’s Under-17 team. “It’s absolutely crazy. He’s now one of Ireland’s top players and they think so highly of him. I expect him to rack up a lot of caps for the Irish now. “It would have been nice to see a Scotland midfield of McCarthy and James McArthur, who both came through at Hamilton.
“How good would it have been for Scottish fans, and everyone in the country, to have a £13m player in the side?There haven’t been many over the years. “Steven Fletcher, Craig Gordon and Aiden McGeady all moved for £9m but McCarthy has eclipsed that now. “I still think of James as Scottish because, at the end of the day, he was born and raised in Castlemilk. He has now commanded the biggest fee of any player to come out of Scotland which is just incredible. “But I tipped it a long time ago and he’s not finished yet – he’s got the ability to go even further. “If he moves again it could be for a really silly fee. All the pundits in England speak highly of him and if he continues in this way he will only get better.” Of that, Reid is in no doubt. He has huge respect for Everton boss Roberto Martinez and his assistant Graeme Jones, who used to be his No.2 at Accies. But Reid is adamant that McCarthy’s move to Merseyside won’t be the last of his career and expects him to take an even bigger step on his career ladder in the future. Reid believes McCarthy will flourish at Goodison and eventually move to one of England’s biggest clubs. He said: “I knew there was interest in James from a few clubs and, without being disrespectful to Owen Coyle and Wigan, a player of his calibre has to be playing in the Premier League for the sake of his career. “He served his time at Wigan and did everything he could there. It was time for James to take the next step to a big Premier League club.
“Now, he’s got to go and prove he can do it at Everton. “The move shows how much confidence Robbie and Graeme have in James. It’s a huge fee for a young guy but I know James won’t let them down. “This isn’t James’s last big move. He’s taken this step to Everton but I’ve no doubt he’ll take an even bigger step in his career – to a top-six Premier League club. “I told my wife when I heard the news that James has another move after this. Everyone knows what I think of him, I can’t believe it took so long for other people to see it. “He’s still a baby and his mature years as a player have still to come. I reckon he’s got even more scope beyond Everton. “He’s now a regular in the Irish national side and has to nail down a place in Everton’s first team, which I’m sure he’ll do. “I’m so pleased he’s gone to Goodison because of the management team there. It’s the right move with the right people who play in the right manner – it’s perfect for James and his development.” Reid recalled the first time he ever saw McCarthy kick a ball, as a scrawny teenager in a youth game at New Douglas Park. From the moment he clapped eyes on him Reid was convinced he had a superstar on his hands but had to prise him away from school before involving him in his first-team squad.
Reid is proud of the part he played in McCarthy’s development but says, ultimately, the 22-year-old now has to take all the plaudits. He said: “The first time I ever saw James play was on the old astroturf pitch at New Douglas Park as a 15-year-old. “It was an Under-16 game and he played in central midfield. “I said to the youth coach, John Beam, ‘who’s that?’ because I had never seen anything like it. “John told me he had a lot of good young players coming through but I said, ‘not like him’. “I asked if his parents were at the match and if I could meet them at full-time.
“This is something I had never done with any young player before and I’ve never done since.
“But James was special. I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed and I told his mum and dad that.
“I couldn’t make them promises but I wanted to take him out of school and get him training with our first team. “I just felt he could go all the way in the game. “Thankfully I’ve been proved right but it’s all credit to James for that."
Hamilton vow to use £2m James McCarthy windfall to produce more talented teens at New Douglas Park
4 Sep 2013 Daily Record
By Scott McDermott
SELL-ON cash from £13m Everton fee to be ploughed back into youth development as Accies reap benefit from Scotland's most expensive player.
HAMILTON ACCIES will use the £2million cash windfall from James McCarthy’s switch to Everton to produce more talented kids like him. The New Douglas Park club will benefit from the midfielder’s deadline-day £13m move to Goodison Park thanks to a sell-on clause they negotiated when the 22-year-old left Scotland four years ago for Wigan. Accies have refused to disclose exactly what they’ll receive from the Latics – but Record Sport understands they’ll pocket around 20 per cent of the fee.
McCarthy, born and raised in Glasgow, is now the most expensive Scottish player in history, although he plays for the Republic of Ireland. And Hamilton insist the McCarthy cash will help them nurture more gifted youngsters. Chairman Les Gray said: “It will allow us to invest in our infrastructure. It will also allow us to get some money back that the directors put in for our synthetic pitch which helps develop our young players. “Overall, the money will be invested in the club over the long term and make sure Hamilton Accies are financially stable and secure. “It will allow our academy to flourish and continue to develop young talent – young Scottish talent at that.” McCarthy has vowed he won’t be fazed by his massive transfer fee – and says he’s just relieved all the speculation over his future is at an end. The Scot said: “Obviously you see the big transfer going on. But to be honest I believe in my ability and I will give it my best shot. “It’s the kind of thing you dream of as a young kid, going to big stadiums like Goodison Park, and I can’t wait to get out there. “It’s going to take time to establish myself and get in the team and I will need to work hard on and off the pitch.
“But I’m just delighted I’m here, that I’ve got the deal over and done with. I’m looking forward to getting games under my belt.”
Marouane Fellaini DID NOT sacrifice £4million bonus to push through Manchester United move, says Everton spokesman
4 Sep 2013 Daily Mirror
Everton director of communications insists reigning Premier League champions paid entirety of £27.5million fee for midfielder All above board: Everton spokesman says United paid entirety of fee
Marouane Fellaini DID NOT take a £4million hit in order to ensure his dream move to Manchester United went through, a spokesman for Everton has revealed. Reports today suggested that the Belgian had agreed to forgo a sizeable loyalty payment to force through his dream move, with Manchester United refusing to budge over their £23.5million of the midfielder. But Alan Myers, director of communications for the Goodison Park club, has poured water on those rumours, insisting that "the buying club will play £27.5m."
Jose Mourinho: Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses still have a Chelsea future
By Simon Johnson
London Evening Standard
04 September 2013
Jose Mourinho has told Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses they are part of his plans at Chelsea despite sending them out on loan. Lukaku and Moses both completed surprise moves to Everton and Liverpool respectively on the final day of the transfer window. The duo enjoyed strong pre-seasons but Lukaku has made just three substitute appearances since the start of the new campaign while Moses has not been named in any first-team squad. The arrivals of Samuel Eto’o and Willian also appear to have further undermined their chances. Mourinho said: “Of course in the last day there are always things to do and people to leave because we have to think about us, as a team, as a group and as a club. “But we have also to think about the players individually, what is the best for them and what is the best for us in terms of the future. We were more than happy to keep Moses and Lukaku but we decided that it’s better for the club and the future of the players if they go on loan. “It is important for Lukaku. We have Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. He would have had chances to play but it’s another thing to play basically every weekend.” Mourinho is relieved the transfer window is finally closed. The Portuguese has had to respond to constant speculation linking David Luiz and Juan Mata with moves away from Stamford Bridge, while he made an unsuccessful attempt to sign Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Speaking about the nature of Chelsea’s dealings in the market, he added: “For us, everything was done properly and calmly. It is now time for every one of us to stop thinking about selling and buying and who is coming and who is leaving.”
Everton winger tempted Lukaku to Merseyside
Kevin Mirallas played a key role in getting Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on loan
September 4 2013
By Tom Deeks
Everton winger Kevin Mirallas has revealed his role in attracting Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku to join the Merseyside club on loan until the end of the season. Mirallas, a fellow Belgian international teammate of Lukaku's, admits he convinced the big striker to join the Toffees on Monday evening when the pair were on international duty with their country. The Everton winger spoke to Evertonfc.com, and seemed proud of his persuasive skills that enticed the 20-year-old to make the move. "I was with Romelu in the team hotel on Monday night, and I only left when I was sure he was joining us," said Mirallas. The Everton number 11 didn't hold-back in eluding to the efforts he made in convincing Lukaku it was a good move. "I was surprised to learn we were in for him, because there had been no inkling, but once I got word, I really went to work," he added.
The Belgian striker, who claimed he made the decision to join Everton by himself, still needed to be sold on the idea by the Everton man. "I just tried to convince him that Everton was the right step to take and he would love it at Goodison, and I'm really pleased he took it on board," Mirallas concluded. Belgium play Scotland at Hampden Park on Friday as Lukaku and co look to continue their good form. The Belgian squad currently sit top of the Group A table, and are well placed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Victor Anichebe took West Brom rebel Peter Odemwingie's advice over move
Albion new-boy Victor Anichebe today revealed how Hawthorns outcast Peter Odemwingie convinced him to make his big-money deadline-day switch from Everton.
September 4 2013 The Express & Star
Anichebe said past discussions with his fellow Nigeria international persuaded him to make the move after 15 years at Goodison Park. Odemwingie finally ended his Hawthorns nightmare on Monday with a £2.5m transfer to Cardiff after a major bust-up with Baggies officials, just as Anichebe completed a move that could cost £6m. The 25-year-old said: “I’ve spoken to Peter in the past and, no matter what people say about him, he has always had good words to say about the club
“He has always said what a good club it is – a family club. Hopefully I can help the club by playing well for them and I’m happy to be here.” And Anichebe believes Albion could see the best years of his career after he enjoyed his finest spell at Everton at the end of last season. He netted eight times for the Toffees last term – his top return in the first team. And he said: “Hopefully West Brom is where everyone will see the best of me. “I think people started to see what I can do last season, when I chipped in with some goals and had some consistent performances. “I was a consistent performer and played most of the goals so hopefully I can carry that on into this season and do well for West Brom.” Anichebe made his move to Albion as former Baggies loanee Romelu Lukaku signed for Everton to replace him. Lukaku chose a season-long switch to Merseyside despite strong interest from Albion in re-signing him after his 17 goals for them. Lukaku said: “It was a crazy evening. Different clubs called me and I had to take the right decision. Roberto Martinez (Everton manager) called me for 30 minutes and explained what he expects from me. “I decided that Everton was the best choice – a more prominent club than West Brom, where I had a good time.”
Chelsea ace Romelu Lukaka: Why I chose to join Everton - and not West Brom - on loan
ROMELU LUKAKU found out he was leaving Chelsea just FOUR hours before the close of deadline Daily Star
By Jack Wilson 4th September 2013
Romelu Lukaku has joined Everton on loan
The Belgian striker has revealed how Monday's late rush happened - and how he opted for a loan move to Everton after a half-hour chat with boss Roberto Martinez. The 20-year-old hitman said: "It was a crazy evening. I was sitting in my hotel room in Brussels when the phone went to tell me I was going out on loan again. "It was 7pm, and that was the first I knew of it. "There had not been a mention of it before then, but after speaking to my parents, I decided to take the plunge.
“While West Brom was an option, Everton was a better one” Romelu Lukaku
"Different clubs called me and I had to take the right decision. Roberto Martinez called me for 30 minutes and explained me what he expects from me. "I decided that Everton was the best choice. They are a more prominent club than West Brom where I had a good time. "The important thing, at 20, is to be playing, and while West Brom was an option, Everton was a better one.
"I've also known Kevin Mirallas since I was 14, and that should help. We talked about [the loan move] and I am looking forward to playing."
Mirallas: I "went to work" to convince Lukaku to join Blues
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
B Kevin Macdonald
Transfer deadline day swoop helped by conversations on international duty
Everton FC attacker Kevin Mirallas says he 'really went to work' on countryman Romelu Lukaku to convince him to join the Blues. Mirallas and Lukaku were on international duty with Belgium when the news of a possible move to Merseyside broke, with the winger virtually locking his team-mate in his room until he agreed to go to Everton. "I was with Romelu in his room at the team hotel on Monday night, and I only left when I was sure he was joining us," Mirallas told the official Everton website. "I was surprised to learn we were in for him, because there had been no inkling, but once I got word, I really went to work. "I just tried to convince him that Everton was the right step to take and he would love it at Goodison, and I’m really pleased he took it on board. "With Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o all jostling for places up front at Chelsea, and Romelu likely to be on the bench, it made sense to go out on loan again. "There is plenty of competition for places at our club, and we are looking strong, but we do need someone we can rely on for goals. We have been having trouble scoring, but I am sure Romelu is going to help in that department."
Lukaku says the transfer deadline move took place on a 'crazy evening'. Speaking to the press ahead of Belgium's World Cup Qualifier against Scotland. "I was sitting in my hotel room in Brussels when the phone went to tell me I was going out on loan again. It was 7pm, and that was the first I knew of it." "Different clubs called me and I had to take the right decision. Roberto Martinez called me and explained me what he expects from me. "I decided that Everton was the best choice. They are a more prominent club than West Brom, where I had a good time. The important thing, at 20, is to be playing, and while West Brom was an option, Everton was a better one. "I've also known Kevin Mirallas since I was 14, and that should help. We talked about [the loan move] and I am looking forward to playing."
Former Aston Villa, Everton, Lazio and West Ham star Thomas Hitzlsperger retires
FORMER Premier League ace Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced his decision to retire at the age of 31.
By Gary Jones 4th September 2013
The midfielder made his name with Aston Villa, joining from the Bayern Munich Junior Team in 2001, also enjoying spells with Stuttgart, Lazio, Wolfsburg, West Ham and most recently Everton. Hitzlsperger, was capped 52 times by his country, revealed his decision to call it quits in an interview with with Suddeutsche Zeitung. He said: "I've been sure about it for a few days: I won't be playing anymore. "I think it's enough." The former winner of the Bundesliga revealed it was the strain of 'many transfers and some injuries' that has proved too much for his overall fitness. Hitzlsperger made appearances at both the UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cup.
It's madness, but we're addicted to Transfer Deadline Day
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Paddy Shennan on the fever of buying and selling that grips footaball
Millions of football fans probably woke up feeling a little dazed and confused yesterday after their late night exertions on Monday. That’s exertions as in getting themselves worked up into a minor frenzy until the transfer window closed at 11pm, then staying up an extra hour or so as they waited to see if all that pesky paperwork had been completed on those reported last-minute deals.
Then they probably spent a good hour or more lying awake in bed as they tried to make sense of who went where, how much they cost and whether it was all a good thing. Well, I did.
As economies continue to collapse around the world, isn’t it reassuring to know that – in a parallel and perverted universe – football continues to ride roughshod over basic concepts like common sense and financial prudence? But if we accept that this world is going to continue to exist, it’s difficult to argue with anyone who says the transfer window should be firmly shut before the football season begins. Then again, this obviously sensible idea would rob some football fans of the masochistic pleasure they receive from watching the madness being dragged out.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who described the current situation as a “circus”, is among those calling for a change, while Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers said: “We did a lot of work early and haven’t tried to leave it all to this mad day which sees the whole of football go berserk.”
Mad? Berserk? He’s not wrong. Interestingly, Rodgers was pictured with Kenny Dalglish at the ECHO’s Bill Shankly memorial dinner on Monday night – I wonder if they talked about Andy Carroll’s £35m deadline day move to Anfield in January 2011. Liverpool actually signed three players on this latest deadline day – but perhaps they don’t qualify if the deals are wrapped up early in the day.
This summer it seems to be David Moyes and his new friends at Manchester United who have been badly affected by transfer window fever. I remember waking up on the day after deadline day in September 2008 to the news that Everton had paid £15m for Marouane Fellaini. Who?
I know all about him now, of course and – amongst all the games he seemed to play in second gear and that game when he gave up altogether (the infamous Wigan FA Cup tie, while, at times, he looked like he was dreaming of Old Trafford against West Brom the other Saturday) – he’s had some good matches, but on Monday I was again left astonished, after Moyes paid £27.5m for him. Wow!
These kind of deals represent the hard core madness, but you’ll also see lots of low level nonsense – especially if you regularly check your Twitter timeline. On deadline day, everyone is a journalist on Twitter. Their qualifications? Access to a computer/phone.
No extra pressures for record signing James McCarthy after his 'hectic' switch to Everton
4 Sep 2013 Daily Record
THE £13million midfielder says that his record transfer fee will bring no added pressure as he looks forward to returning to the top flight with Everton.
JAMES McCARTHY says that the tag of being the most expensive Scottish-born footballer does not weigh heavily on his shoulders. The 22-year-old completed his move from Wigan to Everton for an initial £13million late on Monday evening, in the process eclipsing the £9.5million Spartak Moscow paid Celtic for Aiden McGeady and even the £12million Wolves collected from Sunderland in return for Steven Fletcher, although he was born in Shrewsbury. However, the former Hamilton midfielder, who is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, insists his fee will bring no added pressure. He said: "No, not at all. I am looking forward to it. It's a new challenge and as I say, I am really looking forward to it. "I have had a few people on my case about it, and it's one I'm going to need to take in my stride. "Hopefully I can make the step up to a big club at Everton, and it's one I'm looking forward to. "Obviously I am delighted to be back in the Premier League. It's a real excitement and a new challenge for myself." McCarthy was given permission to delay his departure for Ireland as he attempted to tie up his move, but even then he had to wait literally until the 11th hour. He said: "It was hectic. It wasn't nice to be waiting about, especially as it took until 10.50pm when we got confirmation that it was going to happen. "It was just a relief, to be honest, and such an excitement to go to such a brilliant place like Everton."
Everton FC Transfer Rumour Mill: Baines to net new contract, McCarthy's big deal, Ratcliffe and Kompany hail Blues signings, late Barkley bid rejected
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Peter Guy:
Baines reportedly to land new deal as Fellaini Fellaini didn't sacrifice £4million bonus
Leighton Baines during a training session at St Georges Park, Burton, England
Everton are reportedly to offer a new deal to Leighton Baines to stave off a renewed bid from Manchester United in January. Everton are ready to open talks on a new contract for Baines worth at least £75,000 a week - a rise of around £25,000 a week on his current deal (The Mail).
Meanwhile in other Everton transfer deadline day news, Marouane Fellaini did not take a £4million hit in order to ensure his dream move to Manchester United went through, a spokesman for Everton has revealed. Reports today suggested that the Belgian had agreed to forgo a sizeable loyalty payment to force through his dream move, with Manchester United refusing to budge over their £23.5million of the midfielder.
But Alan Myers, director of communications for the Goodison Park club, has poured water on those rumours, insisting that "the buying club will play £27.5m." (Mirror).
James McCarthy’s dream move to Everton will net his old club Hamilton a staggering £1million-plus - and the Scottish club settled for less to get the deal go through.
Midfielder McCarthy’s bid to follow Roberto Martinez from Wigan to Goodison was blocked in a row over the valuation. Hamilton Accies were due 20 per cent of the profit from the deal. They had already collected around £2.5 million for him and were due a further jackpot.
However the Scottish First Division leaders agreed to less of a slice and that meant Wigan could come to a compromise fee of £12 million plus extras.
Accies gave up a chunk of cash but it also guaranteed they would get a windfall as McCarthy’s move was OFF until the final hour of the window. Wigan boss Owen Coyle haggled so hard with Martinez that the guaranteed sum Everton paid for McCarthy went up from £7 million to the agreed £12 million (The Mirror). Former Everton star Kevin Ratcliffe believes Roberto Martinez's side can finish in the top six again, despite loss of the Marouane Fellaini. “The three players that he’s brought in will be playing regularly,” Ratcliffe said. “Hopefully they’ll be good signings, they’re good signings on paper. I’ve seen Lukaku last season, McCarthy comes with a really good reputation and Gareth Barry is someone in midfield who will strengthen things up. “I don’t think that’s a bad deal though, losing Fellaini and bringing in three new faces. “They should be aiming to finish as high up as possible. If they can finish in the top six that would be fantastic.” (TalkSport)
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany also hailed 'great' Everton signings.
The Toffees left it late on Monday but brought in Kompany's City teammate Gareth Barry and compatriot Romelu Lukaku on season-long loan deals.
The Merseysiders also recruited James McCarthy from Wigan Athletic for £13m, and Kompany feels that Everton may have done the best business during the transfer window.
"Everton made two great signings in Barry and Lukaku," Kompany said on Twitter. "Clever piece of business.
"Arguably the best deals of this transfer window."
Finally, reports have surfaced that numerous clubs, including Manchester United, made late bids for Everton's Ross Barkley (NSNO).
Stones: I want to emulate Barkley's rise to prominence
4 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Everton youngster looking to example set by team-mate
Everton FC youngster John Stones is taking inspiration from the progress of team-mate Ross Barkley as he bids to establish himself on the big stage. England Under-21 defender Stones made his Everton debut in last week’s Capital One Cup defeat of League One Stevenage at Goodison Park.
He played in the same side as fellow 19-year-old Ross Barkley, the dynamic midfielder whose superb start to the campaign has been immediately rewarded with a call-up to the full England squad.
Stones said: “Of course it is a big inspiration for me when Ross is making the first team and getting picked for England. “He is hitting the ground running for Everton. I really want to do the same as Ross. “I am always trying to push for a first-team position, as is everyone in the dressing room. It is healthy competition. “I want to cement a spot in the first team, to keep pushing as hard as I can all season until I get there. That is my big aim.” John Stones joined Everton FC from League One Barnsley on transfer deadline day in January. He had looked on course for a move to Roberto Martinez’s Wigan until the Toffees entered the bidding at a late stage. As events have transpired, Stones has ended up playing for Martinez anyway following the Spaniard’s move from Wigan to Everton in the summer. Martinez showed faith in Stones during the pre-season tour of the United States and the teenager now wants to build on those positive experiences. Stones said: “To get that first game in pre-season was a big help for me, getting on and playing against Juventus, and then the likes of Real Madrid and Valencia. “It was a great experience for me and made me feel like I had hit the ground running. “Coming into such a big dressing room, the lads have taken to me so well and I am so thankful for that. Hopefully I can get a few more games now.” Stones, who is in the England Under-21 squad this week for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Moldova and Finland, believes he has an ideal environment to learn his trade at Everton. He sees the experienced centre-back pair of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin as particularly strong role models. He said: “Jags and Sylvain have been great leaders for me. “I have learnt so much from them in training and in the games I have played pre-season. “You just pick up little things every game and hopefully I can keep improving off them week in, week out. “I feel like one of the family here now. It’s good. I’m loving every minute of it.”
Blue Watch: Eye-catching end to the transfer window for Everton
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Positive developments help lift prospects at Goodison
As transfer windows go, this was arguably the most positive in recent memory at L4.
With an hour to go the Blues appeared to be heading towards something of an impasse with the previously unheard of Fernando rebuffing our advances. This, combined with Dave Whelan’s infamous buffoonery, meant that deadlock appeared the most likely outcome. Fear engulfed a worried fanbase further as Fellaini’s transfer request, with seemingly no replacement being on the horizon, brought back dark memories of the 2011 window when Mikel Arteta jumped ship to Arsenal just as the window closed shut. Fast forward an hour and the Blues had secured three excellent additions to the playing roster as well as retaining the services of its best player Leighton Baines. Of the three new faces, the Romelu Lukaku deal was perhaps the most eye-catching. Despite having more shots than any side so far this season, the quality of the end product has been our Achilles heel. Lukaku bagged 17 goals from just 20 starts last season, boasting a ratio of a goal every 117 minutes – the third best in the top flight. He’s very much a complete forward and was one of only three players to score three or more top flight goals with left foot, right foot and his head last season. The capture of James McCarthy may have been a tad excessive financially by Everton standards, but he is a more than competent performer who will bring energy, tenacity and crucially a more rapid passing tempo to the midfield. He will be joined by ex-Man City man Gareth Barry in the engine room. Whilst the arrival of Barry was less well received, his defensive capability, leadership and experience will complement the youthful exuberance of his midfield colleagues Barkley and McCarthy. The added bonus from the window was that Moyes – who had spent the bulk of the window trying to bully the club into submission – oversaw United’s worst ever transfer window, with his transfer ‘plans’ descending into a farce. The Scot’s bungled attempts to shake Everton down – combined with his desperation to sign anyone – led him to eventually pay £27.5m for Fellaini, a cool £4m more than he was available for a fortnight ago. Whilst a very good player on his day, Fellaini could be irritatingly inconsistent and has often been a liability. The club’s hierarchy are often derided for their handling of transfer activity, but their brinkmanship to keep United at arm’s length whilst simultaneously beefing up the squad significantly should be applauded. In light of what happened at the start of the summer I’m sure that pulling United’s pants down in the process would have been an added bonus.
Everton to reward Leighton Baines with new contract
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
EFC plan to open talks with defender
Everton are keen to open talks with Leighton Baines over an improved contract as they look to stave off any renewed interest in the defender from Manchester United. United failed in their attempts to prise Baines away from Goodison in the recent transfer window having seen a final bid of £15million flatly rejected. Old Trafford manager David Moyes will keep tabs on the left-back’s situation with a view to launching a possible new approach for the England international in January. Everton, though, want to reward Baines for his loyalty in contrast to Marouane Fellaini forcing through a £27.5m move to United on Monday by handing in a transfer request. And Goodison officials have made a new deal a priority for the 28-year-old, who now has less than two years remaining on his current agreement. Meanwhile, new signing James McCarthy has dismissed suggestions he will receive any preferential treatment from Everton manager Roberto Martinez – and is unconcerned by a weighty price tag. McCarthy became the second-most costly player in the club’s history after completing a deadline-busting move from Wigan Athletic late on Monday evening. The 22-year-old midfielder could ultimately cost Everton £15m, second only to the eventual £17.5m handed to Standard Liege on the now-departed Fellaini. It is the second time Martinez has bought McCarthy, having taken him from Hamilton Academical to Wigan as a teenager in 2009. But the Republic of Ireland international admits he faces a fight to earn a place in central midfield with Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley and on-loan Gareth Barry. “The manager has told me I need to come here and work hard,” said McCarthy. “I’m not guaranteed to go straight into the team and rightly so, I just have to give it my best shot. “I played under the manager for four years, it was four brilliant years. He developed me as a player and hopefully I can keep progressing. “It’ll take time to establish myself and get in to the team, I’ll need to work hard on and off the pitch and hopefully I will get into the team as soon as I can. “I know a few of the boys such as Seamus, Darren Gibson and Shane Duffy from playing with Ireland, and I’ve played against Everton a few times now. “As a young kid you dream of going to big stadiums like Goodison and I can’t wait to get out there in an Everton shirt.” Glasgow-born McCarthy’s transfer makes him the most expensive-ever Scottish-born footballer. The player, though, is unconcerned by the pressure of living up to his tag.
“Obviously you see big transfers happening all the time,” said McCarthy. “You just have to put up with it (the big fee) but to be honest, I believe in my own ability and I’ll give it my best shot.
“I have had a few people on my case about it, and it's one I'm going to need to take in my stride.
“I think as a club Everton has everything going for it. We are pushing top-six at least this season.”
McCarthy will wear the number 16 shirt for Everton while fellow new boy Barry has been handed the number 18 jersey. Romelu Lukaku will determine his next week on his return from international duty with Belgium.
Everton's John Stones is England's best young defender says Martinez
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Blues boss reveals he tried to sign youngster when manager at Wigan
John Stones is England’s best young defensive prospect according to Roberto Martinez – who originally wanted to sign the teenager while still in charge at Wigan. The Blues boss believes that Stones, a player he was frustrated to miss out on when then Everton manager David Moyes pipped him to his signature in January, can become a star for club and country for years to come.
England U-21 international Stones, 19, has already made his full first team debut for the Toffees this season under Martinez, and the Catalan says he would have no qualms about using him in Premier League action despite his lack of top flight experience. He said: “In my eyes he’s the most promising young English centre half that we have in the country. “I expect big things from him but we need to allow him to develop and enjoy his football. He has a fantastic future ahead of him.
“It was frustrating to miss out on him in January, because I always thought he was ready to play in the top flight. As a player you need to make a decision and we had to accept that (at Wigan).
“So I was delighted when I got here to have him in the squad finally.” Stones was one of Everton’s brightest performers during their pre-season tour of the USA, and scored a memorably cock-sure penalty to help the Toffees defeat Juventus during the International Champions Cup.
He was given his full senior bow during the 2-1 won over Stevenage in the Capital One Cup last month, and impressed despite occasionally showing his inexperience during the evening.
However Martinez is keen for him to progress in the spotlight this season, and believes he has the right character to flourish. “In any performance from a youngster I never focus on the mistakes, I value their reaction to the mistakes and their next pass, or next decision,” he said. “John is very strong minded in that respect and I’ve been very impressed. “He needs games and minutes on the pitch to make sure he fulfils his potential but I would have no problems allowing him to play in the first team in a league game. “I think he is ready. He has been working really well in pre-season.
“He’s one of that young group which is pushing that gets me really excited. “We need to allow them to make mistakes and encourage them. “I thought he was influential in us getting through to the next round of the Capital One Cup.”
Everton FC boss to open improved contract talks with Leighton Baines
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Roberto Martinez hoping to stave off any future interest from Manchester United
EVERTON are keen to open talks with Leighton Baines over an improved contract as they look to stave off any renewed interest in the defender from Manchester United. United failed in their attempts to prise Baines away from Goodison in the recent transfer window having seen a final bid of £15m flatly rejected. Old Trafford manager David Moyes will keep tabs on the left-back’s situation with a view to launching a possible new approach for the England international in January.
Everton, though, want to reward Baines for his loyalty – in contrast to Marouane Fellaini forcing through a £27.5m move to United on Monday by handing in a transfer request. And Goodison officials have made a new deal for the 28-year-old – who now has less than two years remaining on his current agreement – a priority. Meanwhile, new signing James McCarthy has dismissed suggestions he will receive any preferential treatment from Everton manager Robert Martinez – and is unconcerned by a weighty price tag. McCarthy became the second-most costly player in the club’s history after completing a deadline-busting move from Wigan Athletic late on Monday evening. The 22-year-old midfielder could ultimately cost Everton £15m, second only to the eventual £17.5m handed to Standard Liege on the now-departed Fellaini. It is the second time Martinez has bought McCarthy, having taken him from Hamilton Academical to Wigan as a teenager in 2009. But the Republic of Ireland international admits he faces a fight to earn a place in central midfield with Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley and on-loan Gareth Barry. “The manager has told me I need to come here and work hard,” said McCarthy. “I’m not guaranteed to go straight into the team and rightly so, I just have to give it my best shot. “I played under the manager for four years, it was four brilliant years. He developed me as a player and hopefully I can keep progressing.
“It’ll take time to establish myself and get in to the team, I’ll need to work hard on and off the pitch and hopefully I will get into the team as soon as I can. “I know a few of the boys such as Seamus, Darren Gibson and Shane Duffy from playing with Ireland, and I’ve played against Everton a few times now. “As a young kid you dream of going to big stadiums like Goodison and I can’t wait to get out there in an Everton shirt.” Glasgow-born McCarthy’s transfer makes him the most expensive-ever Scottish-born footballer. The player, though, is unconcerned by the pressure of living up to his tag. “Obviously you see big transfers happening all the time,” said McCarthy. “You just have to put up with it (the big fee) but to be honest, I believe in my own ability and I’ll give it my best shot.
“I have had a few people on my case about it, and it's one I'm going to need to take in my stride.
“I think as a club Everton has everything going for it. We are pushing top-six at least this season.”
McCarthy will wear the number 16 shirt for Everton while fellow new boy Barry has been handed the number 18 jersey. Romelu Lukaku will determine his next week on his return from international duty with Belgium.
Lukaku could be Kevin Mirallas' biggest assist for Everton FC
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
The wide man played a big part in getting his Belgian teammate to Goodison
EVER since arriving at Everton last summer, Kevin Mirallas has become a crowd favourite with his ability to fashion opportunities for his team-mates. So it seems wholly appropriate the flying winger can claim another assist on what has become the traditional manic transfer deadline day for the Goodison outfit. While waving goodbye to one Belgian in Marouane Fellaini, Mirallas was able to help coax another compatriot to join Roberto Martinez’s Everton evolution. The arrivals of midfield duo Gareth Barry and James McCarthy have been greeted warmly by Everton supporters who, with only minutes remaining of the window, were fearing the worst. But it’s the signing, albeit on a season-long loan, of Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku that has truly set the pulses racing among the Goodison faithful, augmenting a strikeforce that has so far this season spluttered with neither Nikica Jelavic nor summer signing Arouna Kone finding the target. Lukaku netted 17 goals on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season – including a hat-trick against Manchester United and strikes home and away against Liverpool – and had featured in three of Chelsea’s four games this season. So it was a surprise when Jose Mourinho allowed the 20-year-old to depart for the campaign, prompting a scramble between West Brom and an alerted Everton. Enter Mirallas. On international duty with Lukaku on deadline day, he soon started bending the ear of the player he had known since the striker was 14. “I was with Romelu in his room at the team hotel on Monday night, and I only left when I was sure he was joining us,” says Mirallas. “I was surprised to learn we were in for him, because there had been no inkling, but once I got word, I really went to work. “I just tried to convince him that Everton was the right step to take and he would love it at Goodison, and I’m really pleased he took it on board. “With Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o all jostling for places up front at Chelsea, and Romelu likely to be on the bench, it made sense to go out on loan again. It made even more sense to choose Everton, and I’m delighted he has. “There is plenty of competition for places at our club, and we are looking strong, but we do need someone we can rely on for goals. “We have been having trouble scoring, but I am sure Romelu is going to help in that department and make a big difference to us.” Everton need goals. While Mirallas was the club’s second-top goalscorer in all competitions with nine, the leading marksman, Fellaini with 12, and the joint-third highest scorer, Anichebe with eight, have both departed. Lukaku only found out four hours before Monday’s 11pm deadline that he would be allowed out on loan, but once Everton’s interest emerged the Belgian says his decision was a straightforward one – and that his career will benefit from working under Martinez. “It was a crazy evening,” Lukaku explains. “Different clubs called me and I had to take the right decision. “Roberto Martinez called me for 30 minutes and explained me what he expects from me. I decided that Everton was the best choice. They are a more prominent club than West Brom where I had a good time. “I was sitting in my hotel room in Brussels when the phone went to tell me I was going out on loan again. It was 7pm, and that was the first I knew of it. There had not been a mention of it before then, but after speaking to my parents, I decided to take the plunge. “The important thing, at 20, is to be playing, and while West Brom was an option, Everton was a better one. There are a few things I need to improve in my game, and Everton’s footballing approach and possession play can be perfect for me. “My movement and runs to the far post and near post could be better, and I have already had a good, long conversation with the manager Roberto Martinez about that.” Lukaku has always been touted for big things. Starting out at Lierse, he scored 121 goals in 68 games for the youth teams, before scoring 131 times in 93 games at the same level with Anderlecht. He made his senior bow with Anderlecht as a 16-year-old before moving to Chelsea in 2011 in a deal that could ultimately cost the Londoners £17m.
And Martinez is confident both Everton and Lukaku can benefit from their season together.
“He’s still a young man but he’s got everything,” says the Spaniard. “(This loan move) is exactly what he needs in his career. “What he’s achieved already is impressive. Probably the biggest point is that we all feel it is time to kick on and carry on achieving. “He’s ready now to become a really important player and knowing how to affect the final third play of any team. “It’s a football compliment that he has chosen to come to us. “ But we all know his development will help us as a team and a club.”
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley sets sights on 'plenty' of future England caps
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Youngster says he's learning from Jagielka and Lampard
Ross Barkley has set his sights on winning plenty of England caps having been called up to the senior squad for the first time. The highly-rated 19-year-old has impressed in the Toffees’ first three matches of the season and his form has been recognised by Roy Hodgson who selected him for Friday’s World Cup qualifier at home to Moldova. “When the gaffer (Roberto Martinez) told me I was over the moon,” said the teenager. “It was the best feeling ever. To get called up to your country’s senior side, there is nothing better that can happen. “I think it will be a good experience being around top-class players like Phil Jagielka and Frank Lampard and learning from them all.”
Barkley added on evertontv: “I’m humble about it and hopefully I do get a cap – and then plenty more in the future. “It’s been a positive start to the season and I’m hoping to push on and do better as the season goes on.”
Mark Lawrenson: Deadline day was brilliant for Everton
5 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Last-gasp deal-making ended up in a stronger squad for the Blues
What a great deadline day for Everton.
There are always winners and losers during the transfer window, and there’s no doubt Roberto Martinez’s men have emerged pretty triumphant. Monday’s last-gasp events reminded me of the work they did back in January 2010. And if matters turn out as impressively, I can’t imagine any Evertonian is going to complain too much. Supporters will have instead woken up the next morning knowing they had a good night without nursing any headache. Of course, the surplus of at least £10million will be a bone of contention for supporters who want to see that money pumped back into the team. If they wonder where it may have gone, I will tell them: it’s probably gone to manage the club’s debt. That has been the way for several years now at Everton, and it isn’t going to change overnight. Nobody could argue Martinez’s squad is not stronger as a result of the club’s work in the window, not least as they held on to Leighton Baines. I’m not sure what happened with Manchester United’s move for Marouane Fellaini. Why didn’t they pay the buy-out clause of £23.5million a month ago rather than spend an extra £4m on Monday night? I can only imagine David Moyes didn’t want his former player to be his first marquee signing, although in the end he had no choice.
Everton, though, won’t be complaining too much. They may have to sell players, but they still don’t make it easy. And to be honest, a lot of Evertonians I know are not that fussed Fellaini has gone. And they are happy the club got good money for the departed Victor Anichebe. Coming in, I’d previously said the loan signing of Gareth Barry was an absolute no-brainer and he will do well for Everton and add experience, poise and professionalism to the midfield. James McCarthy is a player I really like. And he is only going to improve. Look at how much he has come on in recent years. Yes, Wigan were relegated last season but McCarthy was easily, easily their best player. He is a real players’ player. He works hard and is industrious, and will be able to fit in immediately as he knows what Martinez will expect. From six months ago looking ponderous and old, Everton’s midfield – with Ross Barkley emerging and Gerard Deulofeu an instant hit – now looks vibrant with a real competition for places and injury cover. If there have been some grumbles from Everton supporters during the opening weeks, it has been over a continued lack of cutting edge. The arrival of Romelu Lukaku will surely change that. Lukaku could have gone to several teams, and I’d imagine Chelsea were wary over where he could go. But Everton have snuck in and it’s a great loan deal.
Lukaku has to play in the centre of the attacking three. That’s the only place you can play him. He is Drogba-lite, and that’s me being nice to him. Lukaku has clearly modelled his game on the Ivorian, and there were times at West Brom last season where he was very difficult to play against.
The punters will love him. And in fact, the supporters will surely be pleased at all three new signings.
Everton, despite having not yet won a Premier League game under Martinez, surely now cannot wait until the action resumes again after the international break.
Dave Prentice: Going from lynch mob to sedan chair in the blink of an eye
6 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Patience a virtue for Evertonians
"Bill Kenwright's gone from lynch mob to sedan chair in half-an-hour.”
That was my favourite text from transfer deadline night – received 20 minutes after the window had finally closed. Some of the earlier messages couldn’t be printed in a family newspaper.
They underlined, however, just why football fans are usually hopeless at the card game ‘patience.’
With an hour of the transfer window remaining, Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe gone, and seemingly no-one arriving at Goodison, the social network sites and mobile phone networks were in a state of high frenzy. While if Jim White could have heard some of the language being hurled at his image in living rooms around Merseyside even his smug, self-satisfied demeanour might have been punctured. An hour later, though, most Evertonians were toasting their TV screens. A promising young midfielder, an experienced England international, a hugely exciting young striker – and a significant net profit for use in future windows all in the bag. That gave Roberto Martinez three more players of his own to work with, while two players excellent at holding the ball up in the final third, a quality perhaps not as useful for the philosophy he is trying to implement, were jettisoned.
The former Everton manager who liked to get the ball forward quickly took one of them – for a fee £4m higher than he could have paid a fortnight earlier – adding to the general sense of well being around Goodison. Now Blues fans have to hold that feeling of optimism and take it into the coming fixtures – because some are already growing impatient. Glass half-full fans are pointing out that Martinez’s Everton are still unbeaten and boast the best possession percentage in the Premier League. Plenty of others prefer to point out that Everton still haven’t won in 90 minutes – and that watching an entire box-set of Eastenders while slurping Horlicks with Mogadon chasers has been more exciting than Everton’s last two home games. All valid points, as is the fact that Roberto Martinez is just four games into a significant sea-change in Everton’s long-term thinking.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – nor is a football philosophy. Be patient!
Barkley can becoming Everton legend by gatecrashing the World Cup, says Peter Reid
6 Sep 2013 Daily Post
By Ian Doyle
The young Everton FC midfielder could win his first senior cap for England this evening against Moldova at Wembley
Ross Barkley during a training session at St Georges Park, Burton, England
Peter Reid believes Ross Barkley can follow in the footsteps of an Everton legend by gatecrashing next summer’s World Cup. Barkley could win his first senior cap for England this evening in their World Cup qualifier against Moldova at Wembley after earning a surprise call-up. The 19-year-old was rewarded for his sparkling start to the season at Goodison under Roberto Martinez, having featured in every game and scored in the opening day draw at Norwich City. England, who follow tonight’s match with an encounter in Ukraine on Tuesday, have yet to secure their berth in next year’s finals in Brazil. But Reid is confident Barkley can be on the plane should England qualify – provided he maintains his form. “He has got all the attributes to be a top, top player and who knows if he keeps improving,” said former Everton midfielder Reid, who won 13 caps for England between 1985 and 1988. “There is nothing wrong with sticking young players in England squads and World Cups if they can handle it. I think he has got the right character and ability to do that. “One of the greatest players ever to play for Everton, Alan Ball, was 21 when he got into a World Cup squad. He ended up being a World Cup winner. “It’s there for Ross but he has got to keep his head down. If he gets his club form right then who knows. “There’s definitely a gap in there. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are top-class players but they are in the more experienced mould. “There is nothing wrong with young players breaking through.” Meanwhile, Graeme Sharp has recalled the moment he realised new Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was destined for the big time. Lukaku was snapped up by Martinez on a season-long loan from Chelsea on Monday’s deadline day to bolster the Everton attack. But it was back in 2010 when Sharp, while watching his son Chris in action for The New Saints in a Champions League qualifier against Anderlecht, was introduced to the burly Belgian.
“Anderlecht were winning 1-0 on the night and they brought on this kid with half an hour to go,” said Sharp, Everton’s record post-war goalscorer. “The place erupted, with the fans chanting ‘Lukaku, Lukaku’. I thought to myself ‘who’s this?’. “He scored two goals and it was only afterwards that my son said he was 17 - I couldn’t believe it. “He was built like Didier Drogba, a man mountain. He looked the part and I knew then he was destined for good things. “If he can be half the player Drogba was for Chelsea then he will do a sterling job for us. “He’s been in England for a little while now and Chelsea hasn’t happened for him but he scored 17 goals at West Brom last year so everyone knows he has quality. “I’m sure his only ambition will be to do as well as he did at West Brom. Hopefully if the rest of the Everton players can make the chances then he will put them away like his did last season.” Lukaku will have to wait until the trip to West Ham United on September 21 as he is unable to feature against parent club Chelsea, who visit Goodison a week tomorrow.
Naismith hopes Fellaini tears hair out
Edinburgh Evening News
by DAVID HARDIE
Marouane Fellaini was all smiles after Scotland’s shock win against Croatia sent Belgium rocketing to the top of World Cup qualifying Group A.
But, after Gordon Strachan’s side followed that result with a storming performance to twice take the lead against England at Wembley, the big midfielder has suddenly gone quiet. And tonight Steven Naismith is hoping to have the last laugh against a man he called a team-mate at Everton until his £27.5 million move to Manchester United on transfer deadline day, a fee which took the valuation of the squad Scotland face at Hampden to an eye-watering £255m. For as much as Fellaini enjoyed the Scots’ unexpected win in Zagreb, Naismith believes the Belgians are quietly worried that the same fate may befall them, despite their tag as red-hot favourites not only to emerge victorious in Glasgow but to book their place in Rio next summer. Naismith said: “To be honest, Marouane has not been saying too much about it. Our result in Croatia helped them out, so he was happy about that. With them and Croatia so tight, our win in Zagreb was a result they did not expect.
“It’s an interesting battle at the top of the group and we obviously threw a spanner in the works, but after our game against England, I noticed all he wanted to talk about was the fans, how many of them travelled and the nose they made throughout the match. “He has been asking if there will be a good atmosphere and stuff like that, while I’ve told him we can do the same against them. Hopefully we will.” For Scotland, an awful start to the qualifying campaign under Craig Levein quickly wrecked any hopes of making the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1998, leaving the remaining games more a case of how much harm Strachan’s stars can do others than any good they can do themselves. “That’s exactly what it is,” agreed Naismith, “To show how good we can be and hammer other people’s chances. I think the result in Croatia will have made the Belgians sit up and take notice of us and realise it’s not going to be as easy a game as they might have thought.”
Nevertheless, it remains a monumental challenge for the Scots, currently placed 50th in FIFA’s rankings as opposed to Belgium being tenth, a disparity confirmed as two goals in as many minutes from Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany earned the Belgians a 2-0 win in Brussels last October – a result which rubber-stamped the demise of Craig Levein. Kompany will be missing this time round through injury, but his absence will, in Naismith’s estimation, mean little. The former Kilmarnock and Rangers player said: “We will have to be at our best, there is no doubt about that because they have real quality in their squad. There are a lot of Belgians such as Marouane moving for big money to top clubs, so we need to be at our best and hopefully the fans can get behind us again and push us on to a good result. “Vincent Kompany is going to be a miss for them, but they will have a good replacement. My Everton team-mate Kevin Mirallas, for example, is a quality player and he is not in their team every time. That shows you the quality they have, especially from middle to front. “They are a group of younger guys who have all come through at the same time. There might be a couple of them making all of the headlines, but within that group they are all good quality. I fancy them to make it through to the World Cup, one way or the other. And when they get there I think they will definitely take a few scalps.”
Strachan will, of course, be concentrating on the strengths of his side and, to that end, Naismith believes the Scotland squad is showing a steady evolution, with tonight’s match offering the chance to build further momentum following those performances against Croatia and England – with the importance of producing a similarly home impressive display not lost on him or his players.
That, he insisted, will ensure he and his team-mates approach tonight’s match in determined fashion rather than looking at it as the dead rubber it is in terms of qualification. He said: “That’s something the manager has done very well since he came in. There wasn’t much to play for when he took over in the Croatia game. No-one gave us a chance, and we didn’t really have anything to play for in terms of points to qualify but we got a great result. “There is momentum. Apart from the result against England and the set plays, it was a great performance to match the one in Croatia. “The squad is not drastically changing, but there are changes. These guys are coming in wanting to show they are good enough. Everyone involved wants to play. The squad has got great quality and there are probably more players playing in the English Premier League than there ever has been in a Scotland team.
“A lot of the boys are playing every week in one of the best leagues in the world against the best players, so they are getting experience from that. I don’t think the manager has had to change the squad too much, it’s just tweaking little things here and there. “One of the biggest changes he has brought is taking away from the tactics and the opposition. It’s about us going together and pushing each other that extra ten per cent that makes the difference. “Results are a big thing. When you start winning and believing it makes everything that bit easier. There are maybe a couple of area that don’t have as much competition as others, but on the whole it is a very strong squad and I think the manager sees that. He is a great man-manager and knows how to get the best out of the boys.
“It’s been a while since we had a win at home, there’s been a few hard luck stories at Hampden recently. It would be nice to have a great night for everyone to come away thinking that was a great game to watch and we got the result at the end of it. “A good result would give us a bit of momentum going into Tuesday’s match in Macedonia. The bigger picture, though, is that we have had two really good performances so we have to build on that against Belgium. I’m sure the manager will be pushing for that.”
Howard Kendall: The Everton FC legend on transfers, drawing and moving forward
6 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Goodison favourite writes for the Echo
Keeping England international Baines was the best deadline day outcome
I have to agree with all the people who have been asked the same question about Monday night - Everton came out the better in the transfer window. Thankfully Leighton Baines remains an Everton player. Of all the news to come out of the transfer window, I'm sure most Evertonians will agree that him staying at Goodison Park was the most welcome. Baines is such an important player and incredibly positive on the ball. But crucially, Leighton is consistent. I love that in a player.
When you send Baines out on a matchday you know he is going to perform. I have to admit that with the bids from Manchester United coming in, I did consider who would potentially be a good replacement for Baines should the worst happen. Danny Rose is a player I really like and think is someone who could do well at Everton. But, thankfully, the Blues aren't looking for any new left-backs at the minute. Everton didn't manage to keep hold of Marouane Fellaini though who went to Manchester United. We all know about the qualities that Fellaini possesses. But United will have the same problems Everton had - where is best to play him? We've seen Fellaini just behind the front player or as a holding midfielder. But when you sign a player - and especially for such a lot of money - you sign them to play in a particular role and not because he can do a job 'there and there'.
David Moyes didn't know where his best position was at Everton and now as Manchester United manager, that is not going to change. Fellaini was Everton's top scorer last season and there is little doubt that helped increase the fee.
Keepers are matchwinners
EVERTON have been frustrated in their last couple of games with 0-0 draws.
But what has become apparent in the opening few weeks of the new Premier League season is that the standard of goalkeeping has never been higher. A number of keepers have won man-of-the-match awards and Liverpool’s was again superb in their 1-0 win over United last weekend.
That game was played at a real pace. There was none of this 'pass, pass. pass' type of football that can be boring. The wins will come for Everton, there is no doubt about it.
They are not too far away, it is just the standard of goalkeeping they have faced has been excellent.
As a manager, you build from the back and having a good goalkeeper is vital.
We need Luk up front
Everton were right to target the signings of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku.
But I don't agree with the current loan process in this country. I don't believe you should be allowed to loan players to other clubs in the same division. But Lukaku and Barry are here and let’s hope they do a great job. Lukaku’s arrival meant it was a case of one striker in and one striker out at Goodison Park on deadline day. The Blues said goodbye to Victor Anichebe who joined West Bromwich Albion and welcomed Romelu Lukaku on loan for the season from Chelsea.
Everton's strikeforce is now Lukaku, Arouna Kone and Nikica Jelavic.
Roberto Martinez's selections in the next few games is going to be interesting.
Lukaku, whose goal scoring record is excellent, will not be eligible for Everton's next game against Chelsea but after that he is free to play and Martinez will have three forwards to choose from.
I feel it would be a shame, if the manager was not picking two strikers from the three to start games
Roberto Martinez: We're better off after selling Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United
ROBERTO MARTINEZ reckons Everton are in a better shape after flogging Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United.
By Jack Wilson, Daily Star 6th September 2013
The £27.5m fee helped the Toffees sign midfielders James McCarthy and Gareth Barry, and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. The latter two are on loan, but Martinez thinks those last-day signings, plus the quartet of Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and on-loan Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofleu, have left the club in a strong position. Martinez said: "In football you always want to keep the best performers, but he (Fellaini) leaves with our best wishes. "There was a lot of talk (in the summer), but there was never a case of having to make a decision on it because the contractual situation with Marouane was straightforward. "His buy-out clause expired on July 31 and his valuation completely differed. "But when you lose a player you have to end up in better shape and that is what we have achieved. "The squad ended up stronger and in a very good position."
“Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future”
Martinez also confirmed Everton will open talks with Leighton Baines over a new deal.
He added: "Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future. "We want to do what we can to reward that and let him know he deserves our appreciation. "Contract talks will be opened but it is not just about the contract, it is about making sure he knows how much we want him and how much we appreciate him."
Ian Doyle: There's no business like...er, no business
6 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Doyle
Much has been made of this being the summer in which clubs began to rein in player power
Once upon a time, this esteemed organ proudly ran a story with a headline that has since gone down in infamy among those involved. “Nothing doing” were the words splashed across the back page with regards to yet another transfer story that was almost certainly not going to come to fruition – and ultimately didn’t. So enticing it was not, the headline may as well have said “Nothing to see here, move along” or simply “No news – don’t read me”. (No, it wasn’t my headline before you ask).
Yet “nothing doing” was music to the ears of supporters on both sides of Stanley Park when the clock ticked beyond 11pm on Monday night. Both Everton and Liverpool may have been busy throughout the summer all the way up to the transfer window slamming shut. But perhaps their best piece of business involved no business at all. Everton’s retention of Leighton Baines and the fact Luis Suarez will return from suspension still as a Liverpool player were significant statements of intent from both Merseyside clubs. With Wayne Rooney still at Manchester United, much has been made of this being the summer in which clubs began to rein in player power. It’s a valid point. At the highest level, for too long clubs have ceded to their highly-paid, pampered superstars, allowing them to act on a whim when their heads are inevitably turned by rivals offering wads of cash and the promise of silverware. Of course, the Baines and Suarez situations were somewhat different.
Deep down, no Everton supporter could have blamed Baines (right) had he decided to follow Marouane Fellaini by handing in a transfer request and try to force through a move to Manchester United. United, even in transition, have a far greater chance of winning a trophy. They would have increased Baines’s profile in World Cup year and, with the left-back approaching his 29th birthday, would have represented one of his last opportunities of a move to a leading European club.
But in any case, United didn’t meet Everton’s valuation. And while Fellaini phoned in his final few performances, Baines arguably raised his level even further with a brilliant display at Cardiff City last weekend, underlining the professionalism few ever truly doubted. United may well renew their interest in Baines, even as early as January. By then, though, the defender will have been able to witness first-hand how Roberto Martinez’s Goodison evolution is taking shape, fortified by the excellent deadline-day business of James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku with a surplus of £10million that may yet be spent in the New Year. The World Cup, meanwhile, played a part in the Suarez saga. Once it became apparent the Uruguayan had exhausted his exit strategies and Liverpool were not going to sell this summer, he was faced with a decision – either apologise or be left on the sidelines. With the finals in Brazil now less than a year away, Suarez had no option but to hold out an olive branch and hope it was accepted. Now Liverpool will welcome back a player chomping at the bit to win over the doubters, put a smile back on his face, give himself the chance of shining on the world stage and maybe, just maybe, extend his Liverpool career by helping them earn Champions League qualification. One thing is for certain. Expect Baines and Suarez to command back page headlines of real substance in the coming months.
Martinez confirms Baines will be offered improved contract
6 Sep 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Everton boss wants to reward left-back for his loyalty amid interest from Manchester United
Roberto Martinez has confirmed he wants to reward Leighton Baines’ loyalty with a new contract after Everton FC fended off interest from Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
Former Everton FC manager David Moyes wanted to take England left-back Leighton Baines and Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford with him, but only succeeded in buying the latter from the Toffees. While Fellaini had regularly hinted at looking for a new club over the last 12 months, Baines has been a model professional - and Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez believes that deserves recognition. “Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future,” said the Everton manager. “We want to do what we can to reward that and let him know he deserves our appreciation. “Contract talks will be opened but it is not just about the contract, it is about making sure he knows how much we want him and how much we appreciate him.” Despite the loss of Fellaini - and, to a lesser extent, Victor Anichebe to West Brom - Martinez believes his squad emerged from the transfer window stronger with the arrivals of midfielders James McCarthy and Gareth Barry from Wigan and Manchester City respectively, and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.
The latter two are on loan, but Martinez thinks those last-day signings, plus the quartet of Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and on-loan Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofleu who arrived soon after he joined from Wigan earlier in the summer, have left the club in a strong position.
“In football you always want to keep the best performers, but he (Fellaini) leaves with our best wishes,” said Martinez, who would not confirm whether the Belgian had handed in a last-minute transfer request prior to his £27.5million move - £4million more than his recently expired buy-out clause. “There was a lot of talk (in the summer), but there was never a case of having to make a decision on it because the contractual situation with Marouane was straightforward.
“His buy-out clause expired on July 31 and his valuation completely differed. “But when you lose a player you have to end up in better shape and that is what we have achieved. “The squad ended up stronger and in a very good position.”
'I will not be bullied by Manchester United,' claims Roberto Martinez
6 Sep 2013 Manchester Evening Stanard
By Andrew Stuart
The Spaniard let midfielder Marouane Fellaini leave at the last minute after Manchester United paid £27.5million - £4million more than a recently-expired buy-out clause - but held on to England defender Leighton Baines.
Maroune Fellaini's former boss, Everton manager Roberto Martinez, insisted his club would not be bullied by players or other clubs in the transfer window as he reflected on a successful summer of business. The Spaniard let midfielder Fellaini leave at the last minute after Manchester United paid £27.5million - £4million more than a recently-expired buy-out clause - but held on to England defender Leighton Baines. Martinez felt it was vitally important they rebuffed United's attempts to land the left-back but conceded it was easy as they failed to go close to meeting Everton's valuation after a couple of failed bids considered well below the 28-year-old's true worth. Now Everton will seek to reward the long-serving defender with a new contract in order to fend off further approaches. Baines' attitude in not angling for a move throughout undoubtedly strengthened the club's stance, and while Martinez refused to confirm reports Fellaini had handed in a late transfer request, he stressed the final decision was always his. "Everything was done on our terms and that's what is important," said the Spaniard. "The contractual situation of Marouane was quite straightforward: his (buy-out) clause expired on July 31 and from that point on the valuation was completely different and he had a premium on top. "More and more you realise that the club make decisions on what is best for the club. "If you are contracted to the club whatever the player says counts for very little. "If it is not the right terms it is not going to happen. "We don't have to sell players and we are in a position where unless clubs meet the player's valuation there will never be a decision made - that was the case with Leighton. "It is never a good time to lose important players - and Marouane was a big performer - but with the manner we handled it we ended up with a good squad with more variety and with a focus not just on the present but for the future."
Martinez is keen for Baines to play a crucial part in both and with that in mind will seek to reward him with a contract which matches his status. "Leighton is a vital player for us. We couldn't replace a player like him," the Toffees boss added. "No-one met his valuation so we are delighted he is still with us and we now need to make sure he understands how important he is for the club.
"You are looking for that football happiness and I can guarantee everyone Leighton will enjoy his football and role at the club. "He's been an outstanding performer for Everton for years and now clearly he's at the peak of his career and we're going to make sure he feels that warmth from the football club. "What is important is to show him how much we want him and sometimes you have to do it with actions as well as words and that is going to be the case. "Sometimes that needs to be rewarded from a contractual point of view and we will do that. "From our point of view we are making sure we are ready for the competition ahead with one of the most influential players in the history of Everton. "It's vital for the future and for the plans we have at the club."
While Martinez has Baines pencilled in to his long-term plans the loan signing of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is a player - initially at least - for this campaign only. The Belgium striker had an impressive spell on loan at West Brom last season and his arrival at Goodison Park has added a different threat up front. "Romelu has been in the British game for a while and he had a massive impact last season, to score 17 goals in this league is not an easy task," Martinez said.
"He is only 20 and can do anything: powerful, strong, direct with his running and he is a clinical finisher. "It is very difficult to find a weakness in the player and that is why we are very excited to see him. "All we want is for him to fulfil his potential at Everton and make sure he has an outstanding campaign before the World Cup."
Moyes v Martinez: How the stats stack up for the departing Everton boss and his likely successor
September 6 2013
As David Moyes prepares to leave Everton to take charge at Man Utd, Roberto Martinez looks favourite to replace him after resigning from Wigan and meeting with Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright. Two more managers will meet with Kenwright to discuss the job – one of them being Vitor Pereira – with an announcement expected from Goodison Park in the next 48 hours. In the meantime, here are 10 points of comparison and contrast between old man Moyes and the probable new boy Martinez.
1. Tactical approach
Without the ball, Everton and Wigan press hard disrupting the opposition and closing space. Deep-lying midfielders protect teammates who intercept high up the pitch, and set up incisive, direct attacks with short passes. Natural 4-5-1 formations are subject to regular change. Moyes shifts Marouane Fellaini forward to create an orthodox, long ball 4-4-2, whilst Martinez opts for a 3-4-3 which demands full-backs Jean Beausejour and Emerson Boyce attack. Moyes employed this system against Stoke (h) and Spurs (a) and the results were positive. However, these were anomalies enforced by injury/ suspension – he almost never selects this formation.
If Martinez does get the Everton job, he’ll have Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman – two players who naturally fulfil the roles of full-back and wide midfielder. My guess is that Martinez will, unlike Moyes, shift wide midfielders Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas inside, closer to goal. If so, Everton will score more.
2. Defensive record
Moyes’ defence-first inclination clashes with Martinez’s ‘What’s defence?’ approach, but in truth, Gary Caldwell, Antolin Alcaraz and the rest of Wigan’s rearguard are just not the defenders Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and co are. No system eradicates individual errors and the Latics, more than most Premier League sides, suffer for this. Wigan have conceded at least 60 in each of Martinez’s campaigns. He will of course inherit one of the best back fours in the country – as England’s friendly with Ireland testified – but the concern is new players. If Everton have a completely new back four in 2/3 years’ time, would that compare favourably to the one Martinez will inherit? I strongly doubt it.
3. Attacking style
Evertonians have become increasingly frustrated with Moyes’ predilection for needlessly defensive tactics. Bringing on a centre-back for a striker with a one-goal lead, applying an ‘only if he’s broken his leg’ policy to pre-80th minute substitutions, playing one man up front at home to relegation sides – defence has been Moyes’ most consistent form of attack.
Last season was however Everton’s best in recent years from an attacking perspective, often mastering the slick passing/ fast pressing game Martinez has established at Wigan. The Latics’ excellent approach play is occasionally spoilt by a lack of width and nearly always undermined by poor finishing. Imparting his attacking style at Goodison should be a smooth transition but he must make one necessary, simple tweak: kill games off before sitting back.
A lot is mistakenly made of “David Moyes’ record with youth” despite only successfully promoting Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell, James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe and Ross Barkley to the Everton first team. Rooney is the only one to have fully justified the hype (and therefore created it for all that followed) whilst only Anichebe and Barkley remain. Moyes’ mistrust of youth is evidenced by not one Everton player meeting the Young Play of the Year requirements this campaign. Wigan’s late season however was galvanised by youth with Spanish loanee Joel Robles and academy winger Callum McManaman (who was released from Everton by Moyes) excelling in the latter stages. Both performed terrifically in the FA Cup final.
With such small squads and such low, widely reported (and misreported) net spends, both Moyes and Martinez should have promoted more youngsters over the years. Moyes’ record is better, but he’s had a lot more time. Wigan will see the fruits of Martinez’s labours in the next few years. Moyes has nurtured a tiny few and been happy to see the rest leave. Judging it solely on this season, Martinez wins.
5. Scouting network/ Transfers
Both managers are forced into bargain foraging when it comes to the transfer window. Despite Martinez’s notable successes – around £2m up front for James McArthur and James McCarthy, and £990,000 for Shaun Maloney – Moyes wins this one hands down.
If you add £10,000 to Maloney’s transfer fee, you could afford two Darron Gibsons or 20 Seamus Colemans. Less than £600,000 for a pair who have contributed towards Everton consolidating their current status as a top six club, but also become two of the team’s most important players. Wigan’s signings have dazzled but in the end, failed to even sustain Premier League football. Moyes buys for less, sells for more, whilst creating his own transfer budget out of resale profit, delivering regular top six finishes and upgrading the quality of new signings. Huge tick for Moyes.
Moyes has had seven years longer than Martinez, but after four years at Goodison, he’d finished seventh (’03) and fourth (’04). Martinez inherited a side that had just enjoyed its second best Premier League finish (11th) under Steve Bruce but the Spaniard has failed to finish higher than 15th. Both managers have been forced to sell their best players to survive but Moyes has lifted Everton above that level, Martinez has not. His DW Stadium reign has essentially been one, long, ultimately unsuccessful relegation battle with courageous spells of survival in between, whilst Moyes has transformed Everton from drop-zone fodder into regular challengers, occasional qualifiers for Europe. The Toffees’ club structure is an advantage of course but Moyes has restored pride and rebuilt confidence, Martinez has taken a side challenging for the top 10 and relegated them in four years.
7. Reputation/ media handling
Score draw. Both men have mastered the now-you-know-I’m-a-nice-guy-but-we’ve-had-a-rotten-decision-there post-match persona whilst also moonlighting often enough on the pundit circuit to be talked up whenever jobs are available. Media-wise, Martinez will fit right into Moyes’ shoes.
Often irrelevant head-to-head statistics are given new life when one manager replaces the other. Despite remaining winless in all eight Premier League clashes with Everton, most Blues will tell you Martinez’s Wigan have been a tricky opponent in recent years.
The Latics are rarely outplayed and generally succumb to fatigue/ individual mistakes. Over the last four years, Everton have earned 69% of their 16 points against Wigan with goals scored after 75 minutes. Martinez’s victorious ninth attempt – that horrible FA Cup walloping – bore all the signs that he understands well the strengths and weaknesses of Everton’s current squad. In conclusion, Moyes never lost except for the one that mattered.
9. Record v big four
Moyes’ exhaustive analysis/ preparation has yielded the risible total of 7/48 points at Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool during Martinez’s four years at Wigan. Nine defeats, seven draws, no wins. Had officials not disgracefully robbed the Latics of three points away at Chelsea in 2012, they’d have passed that total in three games after beating both Liverpool and Arsenal away that season.
Martinez’s record is poor (13 defeats, two wins, one draw: 7 points) but it’s what you’d expect from a relegation side. Moyes’ record betrays an inferiority complex. Without even detailing the previous seven years during which Everton also went without one ‘Big Four’ away win, I score this one heavily in favour of Martinez.
Martinez 1-0 Moyes. Simple as that. 11 years and no trophies at Everton is a massive failure, four years and an FA Cup at Wigan is an excellent achievement.
New recruit Barry could become Everton 'Godfather', says Martinez
6 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Everton FC manager Roberto Martinez believes Gareth Barry can have big an influence on younger players
New Everton signing Gareth Barry with manager Roberto Martinez
Gareth Barry can become a midfield ‘Godfather’ to Everton’s growing band of teenage stars.
Blues boss Roberto Martinez believes that the vastly experienced 32-year-old loan signing from Manchester City can have as big an influence on other players’ futures at Everton as he can his own.
And it is the club’s crop of younger players who can benefit the most. “People like Ross Barkley, people like James McCarthy and people like John Stones will benefit from Gareth Barry,” said Martinez. “He can be an inspiration to younger players who are trying to replicate what he did for the national team. “He is someone who we have already seen in the two sessions that we have had has incredibly high standards. That really sets a different way of working day to day.”
After providing the defensive fulcrum from which City claimed their first league title for 44 years, Barry has been replaced by £30m Brazilian Fernandinho at the Etihad Stadium. But Martinez is prepared to make the former England international the centre-piece of his new-look team.
“The arrival of Gareth Barry is going to be instrumental to what we are trying to do,” added Martinez. “It's very important to bring the right blend in and I feel that we have done that.
“Without a doubt what Gareth brings is know-how. The way he plays the game is quite unique.
“You don’t get many English midfielders who can fulfill the role that Gareth has.
“His experiences with different managers and playing at international level allow him to do that.”
Leighton Baines, meanwhile, who remained an Everton player after the transfer window closed despite repeated interest from Manchester United, will see his loyalty rewarded with a new contract. “Leighton is the most important player for us now and in the future,” said Blues boss Martinez. “We want to do what we can to reward that and let him know he deserves our appreciation. “Contract talks will be opened but it is not just about the contract, it is about making sure he knows how much we want him and how much we appreciate him.” Despite the loss of Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe, Martinez believes his squad emerged from the transfer window stronger with the arrivals of midfielders James McCarthy and Gareth Barry from Wigan and Manchester City respectively, and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. The latter two are on loan, but Martinez thinks those last-day signings, plus the quartet of Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and on-loan Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofleu who arrived soon after he joined from Wigan earlier in the summer, have left the club in a strong position. “In football you always want to keep the best performers, but he (Fellaini) leaves with our best wishes,” said Martinez.
“When you lose a player you have to end up in better shape and that is what we have achieved. The squad ended up stronger and in a very good position.”
Former Everton star supports surgeon who saved his life
7 Sep 2013Liverpool Echo
Consultant surgeon will cycle from Liverpool to Paris to raise funds for charity
Everton FC legend Kevin Sheedy is backing the surgeon who helped save his life.
Paul Skaife, consultant surgeon at Fazakerley Hospital, who treated Kevin for bowel cancer last year, will cycle from Liverpool to Paris to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.
The 500-mile route will start at the iconic Radio City tower in the city centre, from where the group will cycle down to Dover, take a ferry across the English Channel to Calais and then cycle on to Paris, where they will finish under the Eiffel Tower.
Kevin said: “The team at Aintree were incredible when I was undergoing treatment but the key is to diagnose the cancer early. My life was saved through early detection and I hope this bike ride will help raise awareness of the cancer and the symptoms to look out for.” Paul, along with Andrew Smallwood, a chemical engineer at Rockwood Additives Limited, Tony Crilly, HR director for Invensys Energy Controls, David Axon, chief executive of Consilia and Peter Mounsey, head of operations advisory at Grant Thornton, are hoping to complete the journey in five days. Ahead of their gruelling task which starts on Tuesday, September 10 Kevin invited the group to Everton’s training ground to wish them good luck. Paul said: “We’ve been cycling together at weekends for the past few months to help build up our endurance and the support from Kevin will be a great boost if we feel our energy levels start to drop. “It’s important for people to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer so that, if they spot them, they can go to their GP immediately to get themselves checked out.” Rachel Thomas, from Beating Bowel Cancer in the North West, said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the support the team has given the charity and wish them the best of luck on their journey to Paris. Donations can be given at www.justgiv ing.com/teams/
BeatingBowel Cancer and the group will be updating followers on their progress on Twitter using the hash tag #liverpool toparis. Visit www. beatingbowel cancer.org or call the helpline on 08450 719 301.
Alan Stubbs: How I fought cancer - and won
7 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Everton great releases new book
Alan Stubbs has described the writing of his book as an “emotional” experience – but insists the time was right to reveal what he has been through. The former Everton defender and current Blues Under-21s coach has released ‘How Football Saved My Life’, the tale of his battle against cancer set against the backdrop of life as a professional player. Stubbs admits that for a long time discussing his fight with the illness was tough but the 41-year-old felt the time was right to lay bare everything he endured. The ex-Blues centre-half – who played for the club in two spells between 2001-08 – succeeds in creating an impact with his words as the graphic detail of his struggle with cancer, and the effect it had on him and his family, hides little from the reader. But Stubbs’ book is also a record of victory and how he defeated cancer twice to return to playing. “I’ve been asked to do a book for a number of years now but I just felt it wasn’t the right time,” Stubbs told the ECHO. “The last thing I wanted to do was write a book while I was still playing. “This is different. This is not really a football book. This is about an episode in my life and the football part has been added in. “The focus is the cancer and what I went through and hopefully it can help people who have dealt with this illness. “I wanted the book to have an impact. I just didn’t want people to be saying ‘Oh, Alan Stubbs has brought a book out but it’s crap. “I know, even if you haven’t had cancer, there will be somebody in your family that has. And I wanted to reach out to people like that. “When I was going through my illness I was asked a lot about sharing my experience because it could help people. At the time it felt uncomfortable because I didn’t want to share my experience and people not be able to relate to that. “When you are diagnosed, it’s as if you have become part of a club. “I hope that doesn’t sound disrespectful. But sometimes there is a stigma around cancer and people don’t like talking about it. It is a very difficult subject to talk about. “The first thing a lot of people ask is ‘how do you feel?’ “When you take a step back you realise what a stupid question to ask. But I wanted people to feel comfortable talking about it. “I am very comfortable in talking about it now. “It was emotional writing the book but not hard to talk about. When I was given the news of my cancer I felt as if I became stronger and the people around me became weaker. I seemed to take on extra strength to get through it. “They can’t do anything about it and they were just there for support. I had to take it on board and show people. I had to put on a brave face, even though I wasn’t feeling the best at times. “The people around me were fantastic.” Stubbs was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999 when playing for Celtic. A random drugs test after the Scottish Cup final with Rangers came back with horrifying news. But Stubbs was swiftly operated on was back playing in remarkably quick time. However, in 2001 doctors discovered a tumour at the base of his spine. Stubbs underwent two courses of chemotherapy before surgeons could attempt to remove the growth. The detail of what Stubbs went through is retold in brutal honesty. “It had to be that way,” said Stubbs. “I think people’s perception of me is that I just had testicular cancer. “I don’t think a lot of people are aware of how extreme the second one was. “And all of it was when I was in Scotland. “The first time I felt, because of speaking to the doctors and specialists, I was going to be okay. They gave me a lot of comfort. “They were happy they had got it early and there was a lot of positivity around it whereas the second one just completely out of the blue. “You suddenly start to think ‘oh dear’ and the word ‘chemotherapy’ comes out and everyone knows how serious it when you have to go through that.“It dawned on me then pretty quickly that this was the real deal. “You had to sign a form about the risks of dying on the operating theatre and then had someone ripping you open and moving organs to one side to get to it. “It was like a DIY job inside me.” Three months after his life-saving operation, Stubbs returned to the field of play with Celtic and the passages describing the reception he received at Easter Road against Hibernian are particularly moving. As is the moment when Stubbs makes the phone call to his Dad to tell him he was joining boyhood club Everton. “I would’ve done everything to get to Everton,” he said. “It was a team that stood right at the top in what I wanted to achieve in football and to the day I die I will never forget that it was Walter Smith who gave me that opportunity. I will be thankful of that forever. “When you are born a Blue and it’s your club no matter what. “Even when on the phone telling Dad, you could tell he was over the moon. But I was the one who had a lump in my throat telling him because I knew what it meant to him.“He was the one who had brought me up that way. “We were all Blues in the house. “I was really happy for myself, I was probably more thrilled for my Dad that he was going to fulfil his dream and that was to see me walk out at Everton. “Especially knowing that he wasn’t well. My Dad had one dying wish and it was to see my walk out at Everton. The fact that Walter gave me the opportunity to make him a really happy man. I will always be grateful for that.” ‘How Football Saved My Life’ by Alan Stubbs. Priced £18.99. Out now.
England 4 Moldova 0 match report: Roy Hodgson’s joy soured by Danny Welbeck setback at Wembley
Needless yellow card rules Manchester United striker out of Ukraine clash
Saturday 07 September 2013
It is entirely in keeping with Roy Hodgson’s rotten luck of late that tonight something should sour a straightforward, solid win over Moldova, and so it came to pass when Danny Welbeck earned a booking that means he is suspended for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.
It was such a needless yellow card, awarded by the Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak, supposedly for Welbeck ignoring his whistle that the game had been stopped. There were just moments between the referee’s intervention for offside, towards the end of the first half, and Welbeck’s subsequent shot at goal but the punishment came nonetheless and its consequences leave England very light indeed on strikers for the trip to Kiev. First it was Wayne Rooney who withdrew from the squad, then Daniel Sturridge who, out of tonight’s game, is “less than 50-50” to be fit for Tuesday’s game, Hodgson said. Jermain Defoe is still nursing an injury that he was carrying when he reported last week. It leaves just Rickie Lambert again as the fit centre-forward and, having scored again tonight, he was brought off by Hodgson with 20 minutes remaining in order that no similar fate befell him.
Elsewhere the news was a little better. Ukraine beat San Marino 9-0 while Montenegro drew 1-1 with Poland. The latter was a result that leaves England on top on goal difference from Montenegro who also have 15 points having played a game more. Ukraine are just behind in third place with 14 points. Defeat is not an option in Kiev if England are to finish top of the group but at least they are still in a position to decide their own fate. When Group H was flashed up on a screen at Wembley after full-time last night, with England top, a cheer broke out among the fans still in the stadium.
This was a good victory for England with two goals for Welbeck, both of them nicely-taken that move his international goalscoring record up to eight in 18 caps – very respectable indeed. This was a game when England had an awful lot of the ball and not a great deal of chances but they took them well, starting with Steven Gerrard who scored the first and then Lambert with the second.
There are the spirited, well-organised, park-the-bus performances one occasionally sees from one of the low-ranked opponents who visit Wembley in the course of qualification. And then there is the kind of performance you saw from Moldova tonight when much of it screams Sunday league, especially the arresting sight of substitute Alexandru Onica who entered the fray sporting a fresh black eye. Still every side like Moldova with ten, sometimes 11, players behind the ball needs putting away and it was to Hodgson’s relief that England did it early and decisively.
It was Ashley Cole and Welbeck who won possession on the left side and quickly attacked for the first goal, Cole slipping the Manchester United man in to get to the byline. Welbeck’s cross was taken by Frank Lampard who glanced up to see Gerrard appearing quickly at his right shoulder and rolled the ball into the captain’s path. The shot was beautifully struck with the laces and just inside Stanislav Namasco’s right post. The 123rd best international team in the world were beaten from that point on. It just remained a question of how many England could pile on. By that point Lambert had already had two decent chances. In the 24th minute Jack Wilshere embarked on one of his trademark runs, a shift up of pace, a swerve past the lamentable Victor Golovatenco and a shot that Namasco did well to save. Lambert scored his second goal for England on 26 minutes, a neat header after Namasco had saved Theo Walcott’s shot from the right. The ball had been recycled to the winger by Phil Jagielka. If Moldova’s calamitous defence had a complaint it was that Gerrard kicked Golovatenco up the backside with a miscued flying volley. It was no less than the Moldova No 3 deserved for his first half performance but also probably warranted a free-kick. In the growing pressure for the third goal, Wilshere found himself the victim of a very clumsy challenge by Simion Bulgaru who even showed a little stud in the process. Once England scored their third, Hodgson could start to think about who he could rest with Tuesday’s game in mind. Unfortunately he was not quick enough when it came to Welbeck. The Manchester United man took his goal well in injury-time at the end of the first half, nudging Lambert’s very sweetly struck ball from the halfway line past Namasco with his first touch to open up the goal to score. Minutes earlier he had been booked.
The suspension for the Ukraine game is a blow to Hodgson for many reasons, not least because he has made Welbeck an integral part of his side since taking the job in May last year. Not much tips the England manager into a rage but he was on his feet protesting to the fourth official in the moments after the decision. Gary Neville also pursued the officials off the pitch at the end of the first half.
It was the Lambert-Welbeck combination that provided once more for England’s fourth. A ball in from the Southampton man down the left channel and then a beautifully improvised chip by Welbeck – more of a dink, really – over the goalkeeper Namasco, whose momentum prevented him from reaching up and putting a glove on the ball. Leighton Baines had replaced Cole at half-time, with Hodgson mindful of the fact his first-choice left-back was also one booking away from a one-match suspension. Just before the hour, Wilshere was summoned to the benches and replaced by Ross Barkley for his England debut at the age of 19. Barkley turned and ran at goal with 15 minutes remaining having been picked out by Gerrard’s ball down the middle and the young Everton midfielder’s shot was just wide. It was a good moment for him and he clearly has something that suggests he should have a good international career.
Lampard had a shot kicked over by Namasco. Kyle Walker hit a volley just over. Substitute James Milner missed a simple back-post chance. But England did not add to the four they scored within the first 50 minutes. Hodgson and his players go on to Ukraine on Monday depleted but if they can avoid defeat there and beat Montenegro and Poland at home next month then everything will have worked out fine in the end.
England (4-2-1-3): Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole; Lampard, Gerrard; Wilshere; Walcott, Lambert, Welbeck.
Subs: Baines/Cole ht, Wilshere/Barkley 59, Milner/Lambert 70
Moldova (4-4-1-1): Namasco; Bordian, Epureanu, Armas, Golovatenco; Antoniuc, Georghiev, Bulgaru, Dedov; Ionita; Sidorenco.
Subs: Ionita/Onica 19, Bulgaru/Suvorov 57, Georghiev/Pascenco 85
Booked: England - Welbeck
Man of the match: Welbeck
Royal Blue: No cloak and dagger solutions on transfer deadline day
7 Sep 2013 Liverpool Echo
Everton FC's plans were all in place well before Jim White
Evertonians who got their information from Jim White on transfer deadline day were a worried lot.
With a couple of hours to go to the transfer window closing, Marouane Fellaini had been sold for £27.5m, Victor Anichebe for £6m – and according to Sky TV no incomings were on the horizon.
Their reporter at The Hawthorns told us that Romelu Lukaku was driving to West Bromwich (He wasn’t. He was in a hotel room in Belgium having his ear bent by Kevin Mirallas. But it briefly conjured up the bizarre image of the Belgian striker frantically commandeering a Spy Who Loved Me-style Lotus to speed across the English Channel). Wigan chairman Dave Whelan was criticising Everton for the unacceptable terms of their offer for James McCarthy, while Gareth Barry wasn’t even on the radar. Blues boss Roberto Martinez, however, was unconcerned. And in the cold light of day he explained exactly why. “I was never worried because obviously you don't allow players to go unless everything else is in place,” he explained. “We had been working really, really hard on the signing of Gareth. That didn't happen on the last day. “You cross the T’s and dot the I’s on the last day, but it has been a long process. “We were working hard to find the role for Gareth Barry at the club and to make sure that he was aware of that. “James McCarthy was someone we knew well, and obviously we had other players in place because this is what you have to do. “If you leave everything to the last second it's out of your hands. “I would like to ensure that everyone is aware of the work we did internally. “People like chief executive Robert Elstone, club secretary David Harrison and his assistant Jonathan Williams all deserve a mention. They were incredible in the manner in which they were able to get everything done in a very short period of time.
“That doesn't happen by accident. It happens with a lot of hard work over the last few days, if not the last few weeks. “And I'm glad that everything worked out in the manner that it did.”
Bear that in mind in January when Jim White tells you that the West Brom fans are “dancing in their pyjamas”.