What The Papers Say - 15 November
A round-up of Thursday's local and national newspapers.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
DAVID MOYES wants thirty-somethings Phil Neville and Sylvain Distin to be rewarded with new contacts by Everton.
The duo are both out of contract at the end of the season, but Everton manager Moyes will recommend that extensions are offered to them by the club’s hierarchy.
Neville will be 36 in January and Distin turns 35 next month, but they remain mainstays in Moyes’ plans.
"We are monitoring Phil’s position, but if you were asking for me, I’d say let’s give him another year’s contract and keep it going, said Moyes.
"I’d say the same for Sylvain Distin, who is in the same position.”
DAVID MOYES wants to extend the Everton FC careers of Phil Neville and Sylvain Distin by another 12 months.
The Blues boss believes the performance levels of the ever-green pair over the last year warrant reward, with both remaining key members of his Goodison first team squad.
Nothing is yet to be agreed but Moyes expects negotiations aimed at extending their rolling deals to begin early in the new year.
Although Neville will turn 36 in January the skipper has already appeared in 10 of Everton’s 11 league games so far this term, while Distin, who is 35 next month, has featured in nine as he competes for a first-team place with John Heitinga.
And with both out of contract in May, Moyes is keen to retain the services of a duo who bring a wealth of experience and leadership to his side.
He said: “We are monitoring Phil’s position, but if you were asking for me, I’d say let’s give him another year’s contract and keep it going.
"I’d say the same for Sylvain Distin, who is in the same position.
“With all due respect, when you get to their age, they understand most things are on one-year deals or rolling contracts.
“Both of them have been excellent and I’d have no qualms recommending to the board that we give them another years contract.
“Phil and Sylvain are both in the same boat. I’ve not really sat and had a word with the chairman yet, we’ll probably do that after the New Year, and see if we are ready to give them a new contract.”
Toffees skipper Neville has already signalled his desire to carry on playing as long as possible.
“I want to keep playing for as long as I can,” the former Manchester United man said in September.
“At least one more year at the top level if I can. I still have ambitions. For instance, I’ve always wanted to sample playing abroad, a different culture and different life-experience for all the family.
“Time’s running out, I know, and if the gaffer [David Moyes] comes to me in January and wants me to stay another year then the decision’s made for me.”
THEY say there's no substitute for experience – and aged 31 on his England debut, Leon Osman was certainly no substitute. Everton's long-serving midfielder was smoothness personified as he completed 90 minutes like a weathered international performer.
Forget about one-cap wonder – Osman produced the type of display that will give Roy Hodgson serious food for thought when he comes to plan his midfield for England's next World Cup qualifying games.
With caps being dished out like confetti to young, brash but talented players with potential, Osman did everything that will have been asked to him and more, showing every bit of his experience during 10 years in the Premier League.
The Billinge-born Evertonian looked like he was a veteran in the Three Lions shirt, as he complemented Steven Gerrard in central midfield during the man from across the park’s 100th experience.
They might have been new to viewers elsewhere, but Blues have long admired Osman’s exquisite close control, immaculate first touch and quicksilver feet – all showcased during this eventful friendly.
He had England’s first shot at goal, and peppered Andreas Isaksson throughout the evening.
Osman made the key interception in the build-up to Danny Welbeck’s equaliser and was arguably England’s best player in the second half – popping up in a variety of smart positions and only inches away from converting an excellent cross from team-mate Leighton Baines.
THEY have already broken one Premier League record this season – now David Moyes wants his Everton side to break the top flight’s glass ceiling once again.
The Blues have proven their resilience by becoming the first side to go behind in six consecutive games and still avoid defeat.
Now Moyes wants them to stretch that determined streak across the whole campaign, and in the process emulate the heroics of his fourth-placed 2005 team.
He said: “The question will be, do we have the staying power? Do we have the consistency?
“I think we should have more points than we have at the moment, we’ve lost points in the 90th minute to Fulham and Newcastle. But I’m sure many other clubs could say the same thing.
“We have shown an ability to grind results out, which does have shades of the team in 2005.
“I was disappointed Sunderland were allowed some chances (on Saturday) because our play hadn’t warranted Sunderland having them. We were a bit open and a bit wasteful, and that always gives the opposition a chance.
“I can’t quite put my finger on why we keep conceding first. Our play has often merited us going ahead, and if I’d have known what to do I’d have done it. We are in a good position, but there are going to be lots of games where we will have to grind out results. It’s so tight.
“But I’m pleased with how we have done. It’s not the same amount of points that we got in the Champions League season at this stage, but I am pleased.”
Moyes is buoyed by the confidence his side have displayed by refusing to be cowed when they have suffered set-backs during so far this season – typified during the 2-1 victory over Sunderland.
“When it got to 70 minutes it looked like it wouldn’t be our day,” he said. “We were looking to see how to alter it. I didn’t think we were playing that badly but we conceded before half-time and were left chasing the game.
“There’s a great deal of belief and confidence. If we’d have lost we would have been disappointed but there was plenty in the game which would have warranted the belief that we didn’t deserve to lose.
“We are an improving team. Sunderland will be disappointed not get something from the game. But we kept going and we have players now who individually can make something happen. A lot of the time it has been Leighton Baines who has down something special, but now we have Kevin Mirallas and Jelavic, and Fellaini is now making himself amore important player.”
The only concern for the Everton manager remains the size of his squad, which lacks options compared to others bidding for a Champions League spot.
He said: “I wouldn’t say our squad is big enough, but I would say we have got good quality. I have 15-16 players that I can call on.
“The staying power I’m talking about is different. People will drop out of form a little bit, and do you have other players to bring in or do you have to have players playing through it?
“Maybe we don’t have the luxury to take our best players out of the team. We have to hope they stay in form, stay fit and avoid injuries. You want players to come in and make a difference. And we brought in young Vellios against Sunderland and while he didn’t score we managed to get the two goals when he was on the pitch.”
After hosting Arsenal at the end of November Everton face Manchester City, Spurs and Chelsea next month, and Moyes would like to see his ambitious side improve their record against the top clubs, while acknowledging they have more in common than ever with them.
“We have always given the top four teams tough games,” he said. “Maybe you could say our record against them isn’t that good, but at least we give them a game.
“Now maybe teams will come to Goodison and make it tough for us. Sunderland did that on Saturday.
“Newcastle, for example, will find their home games difficult because there will be an increase in expectation.”
EVERTON Ladies have appointed Andy Spence as their new manager.
Spence replaces Mo Marley, who stepped down at the end of the last WSL campaign.
Spence had previously been assistant to Marley as well as fulfilling the duties of Ladies' general manager.
He said: “It’s a massive honour and I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to take over the management of the first team.
“I had a really good mentor in Mo and I would like to place on record my thanks to her in terms of guiding me along.”
Spence has been assistant manager since 2004 and believes his well-established working relationship with the squad will stand him in good stead when the third season of the WSL kicks-off in 2013.
“I think it is important,” he said. “Sometimes when a manager goes it is because something’s gone wrong but that’s not the case here.
“With me knowing the players and their strengths and weaknesses, it is a good chance to build on that good work.”
Everton Ladies will embark on the new WSL campaign without Fara Williams, Natasha Dowie and Becky Easton after they departed the club earlier this week, but Spence is looking forward to using his appointment to place his own stamp on the side – notably with the introduction of talented young players.
He added: “I think the club has always had a real youth presence to our teams and that will be something I am very keen to continue because the young players coming through know the philosophy of the club.
“That will be key for us in the future but there will also be new players coming in to strengthen what is already a very good squad.”