What The Papers Say - 18 November
Fallout from Reading, plus Blues linked with West Ham midfielder.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
BILL Kenwright will swoop to sign up David Moyes on a new deal as soon as the Everton manager gives him the nod.
Moyes, 49, is out of contract in the summer and does not want talks on his future to interfere with his master-minding of Everton’s impressive drive for a Champions League spot.
But chairman and theatre impresario Kenwright is waiting to sign, seal and deliver Moyes with a new long-term deal.
Kenwright, who appointed Moyes as Goodison boss in 2002, is full of admiration for the job the Scot has done and is just a phone call away from agreeing fresh terms.
He said: “We talk up to four times a day and everyone knows that I think – and every Evertonian thinks – he is the best thing to happen to this football club for a long time.”
Two goals from Adam Le Fondre earned Reading their first Premier League victory of the season, although Brian McDermott's side had to ride their luck during a dreadful first-half display and recover from a one-goal deficit.
The Everton manager, David Moyes, said: "I'm probably as pissed off as I've ever been" after a surprising turnaround. Le Fondre had not started a game for the Royals since their defeat by West Bromwich in September, but a second-half header and a winner from the penalty spot overturned Steven Naismith's opening goal to move Reading out of the bottom three.
McDermott said: "Adam's not played for a little while. It's a great header and then the man to take a penalty for your life is Adam Le Fondre. It's a relief and I'm so pleased for the players. That's been coming for some time."
Only 10 minutes had passed when Naismith gave Everton the lead. Atrocious defending by Reading resulted in a catalogue of errors in their penalty area, as an aimless hoof high into the air left the flummoxed centre-halves, Sean Morrison and Kaspars Gorkss, unable to clear their lines. Marouane Fellaini got between the pair and, when the ball ricocheted off the Belgian, Naismith gratefully poked in from close range.
Le Fondre had a chance to equalise when Tim Howard made a mess of a clearance, but the striker sliced wide after rounding the keeper. That was as good as it got for Reading in the first half. Quite how they escaped the opening 45 minutes without sustaining further damage was credit to Adam Federici, Everton's profligacy in front of goal and the referee, Martin Atkinson.
Steven Pienaar fired wide after Chris Gunter was caught in possession, before Thomas Hitzlsperger, making his first start for the club, and Leon Osman had efforts well saved. Everton should have had a penalty in the closing stages of the half. Nikica Jelavic's rasping drive from the edge of the area was on target before it clearly hit the arm of Morrison, but Atkinson gave a corner.
"I'm not angry with the referee. He should have given a penalty kick in the first half – it's hit his hand, it's going in and he doesn't give it," said Moyes. "I'm more angry with my team because we should have scored and it's down to us to do it. We didn't punish them, we left the door slightly ajar for them to come in and they did." Moyes said Everton "missed the leadership" of Phil Neville, who underwent knee surgery on Friday and will be out for six to eight weeks.
Reading equalised six minutes into the second half, Le Fondre leaping high and heading Nicky Shorey's free-kick into the top corner, before Seamus Coleman went through the back of the former Rotherham forward to concede a 79th-minute penalty. Le Fondre took his chance from the spot and, while Fellaini headed against the post at the other end, Reading were not to be denied.
McDermott said: "In any sport what you need to do is stay in the game. It is 100% about the group. The fans were fantastic, it's a good time to be a Reading supporter."
The pressure on Reading had been growing as each match slipped by without victory, so the celebrations that greeted this surprise first league win of the season were understandable. Everton manager David Moyes, in contrast, said he was angrier than he has ever been after a game.
Adam Le Fondre’s spot kick – his second goal of the game – sealed Reading’s unlikely comeback and came after Everton had two penalty appeals turned down by referee Martin Atkinson during a first half that they dominated. They should have been out of sight by half-time.
“I’m probably as p----- off as I’ve ever been,” said Moyes. “Incredible. I’m not a great lover of the officials. Certainly one of them is a penalty kick, but I’m more angry with my team than the referee.”
Everton’s frustration was compounded by the news that Phil Neville has had to have a knee operation, ruling him out for six to eight weeks.
Reading manager Brian McDermott needed this first league win after his job had been linked to Dick Advocaat by Dutch journalists. “You can’t ask me about that first win any more, can you?” he said afterwards. “That has been coming for some time.”
This result looked unlikely at the break, however, after Everton had showed some fluent football, repeatedly cutting through weak Reading defending throughout the first half.
It was a fairly open start, but Reading’s vulnerable defence was quickly exposed after repeated failures to clear, with Phil Jagielka going close before Nikica Jelavic hooked the ball over from the left and Marouane Fellaini knocked down for Steven Naismith to prod in the opener.
Everton had their first strong appeal for a penalty when Kaspars Gorkss left a leg trailing and Naismith appeared to trip over it. It was one-way traffic and, after Adam Federici made further crucial stops to deny Thomas Hitzlsperger and Leon Osman, the visitors’ second worthy penalty shout followed as Sean Morrison appeared to handle a goal-bound Jelavic effort.
The momentum changed early in the second half after Nicky Shorey floated over a free kick and Le Fondre took advantage of some bad marking to guide in a far-post header equaliser.
A buoyant Reading began showing more belief and both teams looked capable of scoring, but it was the hosts who snatched the winner as Chris Gunter swung over a cross and Seamus Coleman needlessly leaned on Le Fondre as the striker attempted a header and then fell. Le Fondre picked himself up to finish from the penalty spot.
Everton nearly hit back instantly as a Fellaini header from 10 yards struck a post. But that piece of bad luck was typical of their misfortune on the day.
Adam Le Fondre’s brilliant brace earned Reading their first league win of the season – leaving David Moyes the angriest he’s ever been in his football career.
Le Fondre, who has just signed a new deal to keep him at the Madejski Stadium until 2015, was signed from League Two side Rotherham United just over a year ago.
After netting 12 goals last season to help the Royals win promotion to the Premier League, he quickly became a fans’ favourite.
Now he is heading for cult status after helping the top flight strugglers come from behind and break their duck – at the twelth time of asking – and move out of the bottom three.
The fans, who booed off by their own team at the end of last weekend’s goalless draw with Norwich, clearly believe the Royals front man is good enough to help the side avoid relegation. In front of 24,184 supporters – a stadium record – the little striker led an astonishing comeback.
No wonder he was given a standing ovation when he was subbed with ten minutes remaining.
Brian McDermott’s side, however, were lucky to be still in the game at the interval.
Moyes’ Everton completely dominated the first half, deservedly opening the scoring in the tenth minute.
Nikica Jelavic lobbed the ball in to the box, two home defenders collided with each other – and Marouane Fellaini chested the ball through.
Steven Naismith spotted the opportunity and nipped in to stroke the ball past Reading keeper Adam Federici.
It would have been game over had the referee, Martin Atkinson, not denied the Toffees two clear-cut penalty appeals.
First Kaspars Gorkss clearly brought down Naismith in the box. Then Federici pushed Leighton Baines’ cross straight into Jelavic’s path – forcing Royals defender Sean Morrison to palm the ball over the bar.
Moyes was understandably apoplectic that the obvious penalties had not been awarded, but also with his players after a disappointing second half..
“I’m as p***ed off as I’ve ever been,” he raged. “I’m not a great lover of the official (Atkinson) but I’m angry with my team. We didn’t punish them. We were outstanding in the first half. We should have put the game to bed. I can’t believe the result.”
Phil Jagielka’s close-range stab was saved by Federici – then Jelavic miskicked in front of goal.
Naismith put Leon Osman through for a one-on-one with the keeper, but Federici pulled off a superb save.
Then Jagielka’s header was cleared off the line by Jay Tabb. But Reading came out after the interval with fire in their bellies.
Nicky Shorey floated in a free-kick and Le Fondre rose above Jagielka to nod the ball past Tim Howard.
They could have taken the lead when Jason Roberts was sent through, but a great tackle by John Heitinga stopped the striker.
Reading now had the bit between the teeth and it came as no surprise when Le Fondre netted his third goal of the season. Seamus Coleman clumsily bundled into the striker, and this time Atkinson – rightly – pointed to the spot.
Le Fondre coolly sent Howard the wrong way.
“Adam’s the man to take a penalty for you in those conditions,” said McDermott.
“But it’s all about the group, not an individual player.
“In the first half we were too respectful. But we were only one down and we were still in the game.”
It was a bad day all round for Everton, as after the game Moyes revealed that skipper Phil Neville has had a knee operation.
“He had an operation on his knee yesterday that could keep him out for six to eight weeks,” said Moyes. “His leadership was missed but we were missing quite a lot of senior players today and you could see that by our bench.”
Everton boss David Moyes will pounce for West Ham’s Momo Diame if Chelsea lure star midfielder Marouane Fellaini away from the Toffees, writes the Sunday People.
Hammers chief Sam Allardyce does not want to lose Diame but he has a £6million release clause in his contract.
Diame was due to join Liverpool in Kenny Dalglish’s last deal before the Kop chief left – and he lived in the north west during his Wigan days. Diame, who was born in France but represents Senegal, joined the Hammers during the summer.
Everton face being without captain Phil Neville for up to two months after the midfielder underwent a knee operation.
Manager David Moyes confirmed in a press conference after his team's Barclays Premier League at Reading that former England international Neville had surgery yesterday.
The news is a blow to a team already without Neville's fellow midfielder Darron Gibson, who missed a 10th successive match with a thigh problem as Everton lost 2-1 at previously winless Reading.
Moyes admitted that Neville's influence was missed as Reading fought back to win their first league game of the season.
'He (Neville) had an operation on his knee yesterday that could keep him out for six to eight weeks,' he said.
'His leadership was missed but we were missing quite a lot of senior players today and you could see that by our bench. Thomas Hitzlsperger did OK, not too bad.'
Everton are likely to be without 35-year-old Neville for a number of key matches in the coming weeks as they prepare to face Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham before Christmas.
LEIGHTON BAINES fears he will never be a first choice for England until he is playing regular football in Europe.
The Everton full-back is proof you no longer need to be with one of the Premier League’s big four to be part of the England squad.
But he admits Ashley Cole will always have the edge over him in the fight for the left-back shirt because he is playing in the Champions League with Chelsea.
Baines, 27, has started all but one of England’s six games this season but most of those appearances have come as the result of Cole’s absence through injury.
He said: “I wouldn’t have thought I’m on an even keel with Ashley because he’s with a club that’s playing at the very top level.”
The defender, who won his 13th England cap in last week’s 4-2 defeat in Sweden, said that in the past people suggested he might need to leave Everton to play for England.
But Baines he feels that’s not an issue with Roy Hodgson in charge and added: “He’s looking at everyone and giving us all a fair crack.
“But I’m sure playing in the Champions League carries some weight because you are up against the best players in the world.
“So it’s no small task trying to get into the team ahead of Ashley.”