What The Papers Say - 9 November
Wednesday's local and national newspaper round-up.
The views below are taken from the local and national newspapers and do not necessarily reflect those of Everton.
ROBERT ELSTONE insists “genuine conversations” are taking place with a number of groups interested in taking over Everton FC, but says finding the right buyer for EFC remains of paramount importance.
In a blog issued on the club’s official website, the Everton FC chief executive said talks were ongoing with “a number of individuals, groups and companies” concerning “future ownership and investment”, but refused to speculate whether such discussions would eventually bear fruit.
Reports recently had indicated that Indian construction giants Jain Group had expressed an interest in taking over at Goodison Park, and had met with chairman Bill Kenwright in London.
The Echo understands this to be true, but that no conclusion was likely to be reached in the near future.
Elstone said: “Speculation and football go hand in hand and over the past few weeks there’s been plenty of talk about takeovers and investment.
"As we’ve said repeatedly, there’s been a constant stream of interest and dialogue over a considerable period of time and right at this moment that remains true.
“There are a number of individuals, groups and companies interested in Everton and genuine conversations are taking place about future ownership and future investment.
“The club always respects the confidentiality agreements which prevent either side from disclosing the interest. Of course, we fully understand what (fans) want to know is will these discussions be successful?
"That I can’t say. Discussions are still at an early stage.”
Jack Rodwell's first reaction upon receiving a call from England was to think one of his mates was winding him up.
But after realising that was not the case, the 20-year-old will report for duty at England's Watford training base tomorrow night wondering if he will get the chance to fulfil a childhood dream in Saturday's friendly with Spain.
"It is a brilliant feeling," the midfielder told evertontv. "I was just at home and a woman from the FA called me to confirm I was in the squad.
"At first I thought it was a prank but then I realised it wasn't. It was my childhood dream, so now I am over the moon. I'd heard rumours that I could be in the squad but I was hopeful more than anything."
Rodwell has clearly made plenty of progress over the past 18 months. After all, when England manager Fabio Capello was asked three months before the World Cup whether Rodwell had an outside chance of being involved, the Italian responded as though he was not exactly sure who Rodwell was.
Since then, the youngster has finally shrugged off the injury problems that blighted his progress on Merseyside and has become one of the few shining lights in an otherwise poor campaign so far for David Moyes's men.
"I have played for England at every level apart from Under-20s, so I know what to expect," Rodwell said. "I don't think it will be a shock, although the seniors will be a bit different.
"But I know people there and they will help me through."
For even a slight amount of focus to be on Rodwell makes a change from the spotlight that has been shining so intensely on John Terry.
Capello has indicated he does not intend to use Terry against Spain, but if Rodwell's Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka misses out with a foot problem as expected it will reduce Capello's options, particularly if he carries out his threat to select Manchester United's Phil Jones in midfield rather than defence.
Capello could pair Joleon Lescott with Gary Cahill, but that would still leave him without cover on the bench, so it will be interesting to discover whether he intends to draft in a replacement should Jagielka return home.
If not, Terry would be on the bench at least, providing another twist to a saga that began with the alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road just over a fortnight ago.
Terry refutes those claims entirely and Capello has made the decision to stick with the 30-year-old until such time as he is proven guilty of a crime.
For a man who did not care too much about the captaincy when he replaced Steve McClaren almost four years ago, Capello must rate Terry's leadership qualities extremely highly as, once again, the build-up to a major international has been overshadowed by controversy involving the Chelsea captain.
All this should wash straight over Rodwell's head given his elation at being the latest player to step up from Under-21 duty, following on from the likes of Jones, Jack Wilshere and Chris Smalling.
"Stuart Pearce says to all the squad that from the Under-21s the next step is the seniors," Rodwell added. "A few of the lads have done that already.
"Hopefully I will get on the pitch. I have got to impress in training but I am just thrilled to be there to be honest."
As one of 11 players in Capello's squad with six caps or less, Rodwell is aiming to gatecrash a place at Euro 2012.
The fall-back position is selection for the Great Britain Olympic team, to be coached by Pearce next summer.
"I am not even thinking that far ahead," he said. "There is the Olympics and the Europeans but I'm concentrating on my form for Everton."
Jack Rodwell has vowed to impress Fabio Capello after England's head coach gave him the opportunity to fulfil his childhood dream.
The Everton midfielder has been promoted from the Under 21 squad for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden and, with Capello ready to experiment, Rodwell could yet return to Goodison Park next week with his first senior cap.
Rodwell, 20, has represented England all the way through from Under 16 level and is pinching himself at the prospect of being involved when the reigning World and European Champions arrive at Wembley on Saturday.
'It is a brilliant feeling,' said Rodwell. 'I have wanted it all my life and it is a dream come true. I was just sat at home with my family when a woman from the FA called to tell me. At first I thought it was a prank but quickly realised it wasn't.
'I was over the moon and me and the family just all celebrated together. I had heard rumours that I might be in the squad but I was also selected for the Under 21s so I was in two minds – more hopeful than anything else.
'Stuart Pearce has said to me and all of the squad that if we do well then you can make the step up to the full squad. Spain at Wembley is a brilliant game. You could not have scripted it any better.
'Fingers crossed I will get that first cap but first of all I have to impress in training. I am hopeful, but if I don't get on the pitch then it is all great experience and it is nice just to be recognised by the England manager.'
After enduring a frustrating time last season due to a combination of injuries and patchy form, Rodwell has looked much better this time around. He said after playing in the Under 21s 6-0 win over Azerbaijan in September that this had to be 'his season'.
He has certainly benefited from playing regularly for Everton and Rodwell is well aware that further development in the coming months could lead to him pushing to for a place in Capello's plans for Euro 2012.
'I want to enjoy it and give my best and if I get on the pitch then that will be a bonus – I am just thrilled to be in,' said Rodwell.
'I'm not thinking as far ahead as the Euros. I am just concentrating on my game and hopefully I can keep improving.'
EVERTON chief executive Robert Elstone believes Jack Rodwell’s first call-up to England’s senior squad reflects equally well on both the player and the club’s academy.
The Birkdale-born 20-year-old, part of Everton’s set-up since the age of seven, has been selected by Fabio Capello for the forthcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden.
“We are very proud and pleased for Jack,” said Elstone.
“It is a fantastic reward for everything he has achieved, all the hard work that had gone into Jack from our academy and the hard work he has put in.
“It is great for Jack and something we are fantastically proud of; he has made everyone here associated with the club, and the academy in particular, exceptionally proud of his England call-up.”
Everton yesterday hosted a conference at their Finch Farm training complex for top clubs from the Barclays Premier League and around Europe and representatives from the Football League and Scottish Premier League to talk about youth development.
The Goodison Park outfit have produced a significant number of first team players from their academy, ranging from Tony Hibbert, through to the likes of Leon Osman, Rodwell and Jose Baxter, to the latest emergence of Ross Barkley, during which time Wayne Rooney has also departed to Manchester United.
Elstone admits it is an area the club, with their current financial restrictions, have to work hard on.
“We have a fantastic track record (in youth development) and it continues to be a top priority for us and continues to get lots of investment,” he told evertontv.
“A lot of people have remarked on what is most important is that young players get opportunities in the first team and Everton can boast a record as good as, if not better, than any other team in the Premier League.
“That is a tremendous carrot from a recruitment point of view.
“The boys have to be good enough but they are and that is testament to the people, the procedures and facilities and techniques we have at Finch Farm.
“Our critical test and objective is absolutely about winning games but to do that the most important thing we can do is out-perform our rivals on identification, recruitment and development and coaching and preparation of talented young footballers.
“That is absolutely key to success and will set us apart and enable us to be competing at the highest level.
“It is a key part of our business and something we are very proud of.”