What The Papers Say - August 11
A summary of today's Everton coverage.
The views below are taken from the local and national newspapers and do not necessarily reflect those of Everton.
PHIL NEVILLE has backed Seamus Coleman to make a swift return from his horror ankle injury.
Irish defender Seamus Coleman, 22, has torn ligaments in his right ankle and could be out for three months.
But Neville said: “Everyone knows what I think of Seamus, he’s a fantastic character and a great person to have around the place.
“There’s a real respect between us both.
“He’ll be missed over the next couple of weeks. We wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully the scans and the treatment is good.
“With the attitude he has, he’ll have no problems coming back fully fit.”
REAL MADRID winger Pedro Leon has sparked a three-way battle for his signature after he turned down a move to Getafe.
Everton, Villa and Fulham are keen on the 24-year-old, who is set to leave the Bernabeu after failing to secure a regular first-team place under Jose Mourinho.
Everton manager David Moyes, desperate to strengthen his squad, leads the way.
Chelsea have continued the revamp of their scouting department by appointing Mick Doherty as the European scout to work under the new technical director, Michael Emenalo.
Doherty has joined after leaving Everton, where he was credited for spotting Seamus Coleman at Sligo Rovers in 2009 to prompt a £60,000 move to Goodison Park, and will be a key member of a new-look recruitment unit at Stamford Bridge.
The previous sporting director Frank Arnesen took the chief scout Lee Congerton with him to Hamburg when he departed this summer, with Chelsea using the Dane's exit as a chance to refresh their scouting network.
The London club hope to confirm the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Anderlecht on Thursday after the Belgium striker returns from international duty. The player, who will join for an initial £11m that may rise to £18m linked to honours and appearances, has passed his medical. Chelsea are now awaiting Premier League clearance.
PHIL NEVILLE believes he can play on for another four seasons in the Premier League – and is more determined than ever to make his experience count for Everton FC this season.
The super-fit EFC skipper will be 35 in January, but is looking to follow in the footsteps of former Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs who is still playing regularly at 37, and Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel who is 40.
Neville is excited about getting the forthcoming season underway against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday, barring a possible postponement due to the rioting in London, and has done his home-work to ensure he can improve his game this term.
The ex-England international, who was praised for his handling of Spurs’ sensation Gareth Bale, 22, during the Blues’ trip to North London last season, said: “I still feel young. I feel fit and I feel like I could play for another three or four years – not just this season.
“I feel brilliant about my fitness and brilliant about my body.
“I look at other experienced players throughout the league and teams are going with experience now because the those players are still playing at the top of their games.
“The younger players are coming through – and if they are good enough they’ll displace the experienced guys but at the moment they aren’t good enough so you keep going.”
Neville is determined not to relent the meticulous fitness regime which allows him to carry on performing at the top level.
He said: “I think each year you try to make changes for the better. Bryan Kidd told me in my first year at Man United that each pre season you’ve got to improve 5%.
“You go away after a long had season and evaluate your performances and where you can improve, and that is what I have done.
“The main aim was to start 100% fit. I started last season at maybe 70% because I had an injury in the summer.”
Neville practises yoga in his spare time and regularly arrives at Finch farm early to do extra fitness work, something he views as vital.
He said: “I have to do all that, and I have to keep doing it even more now. Each season the rest-time has to be better, and you cannot cut corners which is something I’ve found.
“I only had a couple of weeks holiday and otherwise worked hard this summer and followed an excellent fitness programme our coaches set us.
“When you get to 32 and older every year, you’ve got to be ahead of the other players, getting everything right and not just some of the time - all of the time.
“That is something which has been important to me throughout my career luckily, and I’ve followed through with it.
“When you stop enjoying it and the things that make you be a footballer, then it’s time to quit but at the moment I still love the preparation and the business of doing everything right. It’s part of my blood.”
THE PREMIER LEAGUE will meet with the Metropolitan Police today to decide whether Saturday’s fixtures - including Everton FC’s visit to Tottenham - will go ahead following the violent disturbances in London over the past few days.
England’s friendly with the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday night was called off on police advice amid fears over supporters’ safety, whilst the Carling Cup games at Charlton, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bristol City were also postponed.
With the more severe clashes starting in Tottenham, close to their White Hart Lane ground, last Saturday evening, concerns about Everton’s visit to North London on Saturday afternoon are understandable.
Tottenham issued a statement on Monday insisting that the game was scheduled to go ahead as planned, despite part of the club’s ticket office being damaged in the riots.
A number of Spurs players have voiced concerns over the merits of staging the fixture.
Dutch forward Rafael Van der Vaart said: “I ask myself whether the league matches at the weekend will be able to go ahead. Right now, I can't imagine it.
“I saw the TV pictures from London and the chaos there at present is unbelievable. With things as they are, there is simply no way to organise a big international match safely.”
Defender Younes Kaboul added: “I was really surprised by what happened in Tottenham. We don't know whether we will be able to play this Saturday, as the riots are spreading across London. They look like they're getting pretty serious.
“If it is too dangerous, it would be preferable to postpone the match for the sake of the fans' safety.
“That is even though it is annoying for us players, especially as it is the first league game of the season. But you have to put people's safety above everything else.”
Elsewhere in London, QPR host Bolton, whilst Aston Villa visit Fulham.