Next Match:

Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.  

Daily Mail

Everton manager David Moyes was among scouts monitoring  Norway defender Vegard Forren, 24, during their 2-0 win over Hungary on Wednesday.

Fulham are thought to be in pole position for the in-form player from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s  Norwegian champions, Molde.
Defender Brede Hangeland recently confirmed his side's interest in his international team-mate.

'His name has come up,' Hangeland told TV2. 'They asked me about him after the last international break, so of course I had to be honest and tell them he’s a very good footballer.
'It’s no wonder Fulham have noticed him, I’m sure he’s been noticed by others as well.
'I think it was the manager who mentioned it. He picks up on quite a few things.
'He asked me about Forren. I told him that he’s a good player, and that occasionally good players come out of Norway as well.

'I try to answer honestly when I’m asked about something. I’ve often answered that Scandinavian players aren’t good enough.
'But when it comes to Vegard Forren, I think he could be good enough for a career abroad. But if it’s now or in the future, only time will tell.'
Asked if he thinks he thought Forren would come to Fulham, Hangeland added: 'We’ll see. I think if he did come, he’d do a good job'.

Daily Mail

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni admits he was wrong to leave Everton's Seamus Coleman out of his squad for last summer's European Championships finals.
The former Sligo Rovers defender was omitted from Ireland's disastrous Euro 2012 campaign and Trapattoni turned instead to Hull City's Paul McShane as potential cover for Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger and John O'Shea.

But after an outstanding start to Ireland's latest World Cup campaign, and his man of the match performance against Greece in Dublin on Wednesday night, Trapattoni says Everton full-back Coleman has earned the right to be among the starters for the resumption of qualifiers next year.
And the Ireland manager says he may have been wrong to leave the 24-year-old Donegal-born utility man who won his ninth cap against the Greeks this week.
Trapattoni said: 'We deserved to qualify for the Euros and the team was very well in every position. I had a heavy job with Paul McShane and had to disappoint Kevin Foley.

'Coleman was not ready for this group but we followed him and he has played in forward positions for his club and also as a defender.

'Now he is good for us and we have trust in him. He has confirmed his personality, quality, strength and attitude and plays offensive football without fear and that was important. He plays every game with his club and in every game he grows.'
Meanwhile, Trapattoni is hoping to have Richard Dunne back in the squad for the crucial double header against Sweden and Austria in March.
The Aston Villa defender, who has not played this season due to a groin injury picked up with Ireland, is back in training, although he has been told he can leave Villa Park by manager Paul Lambert.
Trapattoni said: 'I am frequently in touch with him and his injury is not easy. He said he will start training in 15 days, and I hope we have two months. He has to play for his club and if he is ready, sure he will play.
'For us it's important he comes back. But also Ciaran Clark's performance was very positive against Greece and with Darren O'Dea and Sean St Ledger, we have good options at centre back.'

The Echo

BRIAN McDermott is the latest football manager to admit his membership of a popular and like-minded club.
The Reading boss has gone on record to say he – alongside countless other bosses across Europe – at one time considered signing Marouane Fellaini but didn’t.
In fairness to the bright and articulate 51-year-old it was more a case of being unable to afford the gangly 17-year-old who lit up a youth tournament he attended in Portugal six years ago – but many others went on to pass on the option of making Standard Liege an offer they couldn’t refuse for their promising power-house.

Not so David Moyes. The Everton boss is famously cautious when it comes to spending the rationed resources at his disposal, but he saw enough back in 2008 to sanction a club record £15m bid for the Belgian giant.
Few would argue it was not a wise move, especially the growing band of admirers at top Champions League clubs who await their chance to lure Fellaini in the summer, but McDermott says it is no coincidence that Moyes got it right.
In his first season in charge at the Madejski Stadium, the former Arsenal midfielder steered Reading into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 83 years, a run that included knocking out Liverpool at Anfield. The following season he repeated the feat, this time with an away win at Goodison.
But he admits he is still a rookie in comparison to Moyes – the man who bought Fellaini and turned him into a force of nature, as he has with so many others.
“I’ve known Fellaini since he was 17. I was watching a tournament, I think it might have been in Porto, in around 2006,” he said.
“I asked about him to see if he would come to Reading, but at that time he was 17 and was £7million so we were nowhere near it.
“David Moyes is a great manager and he has done it at this level for a long, long time and proven to be one of the great managers,” he said.
“I have done two or three years as manager and my record, up to the last 10 games, has been okay.
“But David is a great manager because he has stood the test of time – I think longevity is really, really important and that is what you try to get as a manager because it is good for the club.
“You tend to find the most successful clubs are the ones where the manager has been around for a while.
“I’m not surprised (by his success). You look at the manager and the staff he has got round him, and the players he has got, and what he has got is a real spirit there and a really good group.
“I was just looking at his squad – what he has there is quality.
“In comparison to what people spend at that end of the table he has done a fantastic job. He is a great manager and I really like him, I like spending time in his company.”

Now McDermott must try and fight against the odds in the way Moyes has managed so often over the years as he bids to lift the Royals from 18th place in the table – but it is a job he is relishing with optimism.
Last weekend’s 0-0 stalemate at home to Norwich – Everton’s next opponents – was the latest of six draws Reading have had since their top flight return, and McDermott claims the ability shown by his side in those fixtures indicates they are heading in the right direction.
“The bottom line is that we have drawn six games out of 10 and five games out of six,” he said.
“So obviously we are drawing a lot which means we are in the games; the only thing we are looking at now is getting the right result against Everton.

“We’ve won a lot of games here in the last two-and-a-half to three years, we want to get a result and get three points because every team by definition wants to do that, and then we move on to the next game.
“We are very much living in the moment.
“Obviously we haven’t won a game in 10 but we’ve got six points and six results, we could have had six wins because a draw can be a win very easily.”
The goalless draw with Norwich brought Reading’s first clean sheet of the season and came just 11 days after McDermott saw his side leak seven goals in the Capital One Cup against Arsenal.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton said after last weekend’s game that striking a balance between a tight defence and a threatening attack is harder for the smaller clubs in the league, an assessment McDermott agrees with.
“We have been scoring goals so if we can keep being solid I know we are going to score goals.
“Chris is right, you do need to get that balance right and that is what we are trying to do at the moment,” he said.
“We didn’t create enough in that particular game, we came off the back of a 7-5 and went to QPR and looked more solid.
“We looked solid again against Norwich and that is a starting point.
“I think you need that starting point and now you have to get the balance right in attack as well.”

The Echo

LEON OSMAN admits Everton FC will have to maintain their position near the top of the Premier League if he is to add to his first England cap at the age of 31.
The midfielder made his debut during Wednesday night’s 4-2 defeat against Sweden in a friendly international at the Friends Arena in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all four goals for the home side.
It has come after a start to the season which has seen the Toffees pushing for a Champions League place rather than their normal stuttering form at the beginning of a campaign.
Osman said: “I came here to show I was capable of playing at this level. I felt like I was, and hopefully I showed people and showed myself that I can.
“I was made up to be here, desperate to get my first cap and now I’ve done so, I want more.
“I’m not going to jump ahead of myself. I’m taking one step at a time and I’m delighted I’ve played the game.
“Hopefully people thought I did OK and we will look to the next game when it comes. But the vital thing is for myself and Everton to keep our form going.
“I’ve been playing for Everton for a number of years but it wasn’t until we started playing the football that we have, that I managed to push into the squad.
“It is important for me, if I’ve got any aspirations of staying in the squad, that we stay at the top of the league.”
Osman concedes he faces a battle with his mother and father to keep possession of his first cap.
He said: “I think I’ll have to wrestle my mum and dad for it. That’s the type of people they are!
“They’ve still got my England schoolboy caps that they’ve never given me back.
“It is special to get that cap. To have played 90 minutes as well, I’m delighted with that.”
Osman was the oldest of six debutants against the Swedes and felt at ease at the style of football on the international stage.
He said: “I still feel like I’m young in the head and most people back at Everton would tell you that I’m young in the head.
“I’m not sure if that is a compliment or not!
“People say it’s a big step up but it seemed to be the type of football I like to play, keeping possession of the ball and trying to find opportunities when you can.
“I felt it went OK in that department.”
Osman believes England can take plenty of plus points from the game despite suffering their first defeat – barring their Euro 2012 penalty heartbreak against Italy – under head coach Roy Hodgson.
He said: “Football is a result business and I’m delighted I’ve made my debut but a bit sad I was on the losing end.
“We played reasonably well for 65 minutes and then Ibrahimovic took over.
“It was a terrific performance by him. To score four goals in a game at international level isn’t really heard of.
“The manner in which he scored the goals was difficult to defend against.
“But our young players showed the future is bright.
“The quality of players at such young ages, people like Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha coming on as well, bodes well. They are very exciting players.”

The Echo

EVERTON FC are hoping to beat Fulham to the signature of Norway international defender Vegard Forren in January.
The 24-year-old Molde centre-back has been compared to Craven Cottage captain Brede Hangeland in his homeland, and David Moyes is keen to add him to his defensive options.
Forren has attracted a number of other interested clubs who have been alerted by his impressive displays for the Norwegian champions, but Moyes wants to persuade him to pick Goodison instead of linking up with his compatriot in West London.
The Blues have healthy competition in central defence with Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga all competing for two places – but Moyes is aware of the need to add youth to his ranks with only Shane Duffy currently emerging as a home-grown future prospect.
Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has helped Forren develop rapidly since taking over in 2011, and rates the defender – who already has five caps for Norway – in the £2.5m price bracket.
Everton sent a scout to watch him against Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League in September, and Forren was reported to have welcomed the interest in his services.
“If it is true then of course it is interesting, but it is not something I am thinking about,” he was quoted as telling Romerikes Blad.
“I have been able to cope with the step up in the national team and in Europe and I feel I have played well enough to suggest that I am ready for a better league.”
Meanwhile, Moyes is also monitoring the progress of Irish starlet Christopher Forrester, after the 19-year-old was recently named the League of Ireland PFAI Young Player of the Year.
The Blues have sent scouts to watch the St Patrick's Athletic midfielder who is making a name for himself as a potential Premier League performer, with a string of impressive goals.

The Echo

STEVEN NAISMITH believes he is still a work in progress for Everton FC – but he is excited by the chance to deputise for Kevin Mirallas tomorrow.
The Scotland international has started just three Premier League games for the Blues so far, although he came off the bench to replace the injured Belgian winger in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Sunderland.
Despite scoring his first Everton goal in last month’s Merseyside derby, Naismith still feels he is fighting his way back to full fitness after the second cruciate knee ligament injury of his career left him sidelined for nine months.
Speaking after the win over Martin O’Neill’s men, David Moyes insisted his summer signing from Glasgow Rangers is getting sharper every week, and the 26-year-old is keen to prove his manager right – and hopes that chance comes against Reading.
He said: “Hopefully if I can get in the starting team again I can show what I can do. I think in the games I have played, be it off the bench or starting, I’ve at least been in positions to create chances or be on the end of chances.
“They’ve not all gone in but it’s a work in progress for me personally at the moment.”
Naimsith admits he was frustrated by his individual performance against the Black Cats, but his growing maturity and experience mean he is confident of getting back to his best soon.
“It was just an off day for me personally but it was great for us to get the win,” he said. “Through that period when you’re coming back, you’re still getting your match sharpness and your sharpness around the box.
“It’s something I’m constantly working on and I’ll try to improve week to week.
“I’m probably less frustrated when things aren’t going my way now than I was the first time around when I was injured. I know it’s part of coming back. “Not only that, but moving to a club with so much quality in it, it takes a bit of time to get up to pace and I’d still say I’m going through that period.”
Tomorrow’s opponents have taken only six points from 10 games so far this term – leaving them 18th in the Premier League table.
But Naismith said: “They showed in the League Cup game against Arsenal (a game which ended in a 7-5 win for the Gunners) that they can play well and be an attacking force.”

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