What The Papers Say - 27 November
A round-up of Tuesday'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.
Everton boss David Moyes is trying to sign Scotland keeper Craig Gordon.
Gordon, 29, is a free agent after injury wrecked the end of his spell at Sunderland and has been without a club since the end of last season.
But Moyes wants back-up for first choice Tim Howard and Gordon - who once cost the Wearsiders £9million - can be signed without waiting for the transfer window to open in January.
Sir Alex Ferguson will revive his interest in Everton defender Leighton Baines after conceding defeat in his move for Ashley Cole.
The Manchester United manager has made the acquisition of a new left-back a top priority, despite the capture of Alexander Buttner in August.
Ferguson remains keen to replace Patrice Evra - and as revealed by Sportsmail last month, joined the race to land Cole, whose contract expires at the end of the season, from Chelsea.
But it is looking increasingly likely that Cole will team-up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Paris St Germain ahead of next season.
And United are reviving their interest in England international Baines, a player they spent much of the summer courting.
Ferguson felt Everton’s £15million valuation of Baines was a price too high, but the Old Trafford club want to re-open negotiations with the Toffees.
David Moyes will be loathe to lose the 27-year-old, who has been one of Everton’s players of the season.
But a big enough offer could be enough to tempt the Goodison Park club into selling the impressive defender.
Meanwhile, Moyes is lining up a move for former Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon.
The Scot has been without a club since his Stadium of Light contract expired over the summer.
Moyes wants competition for current first-choice Tim Howard, and has contacted the 29-year-old’s representatives regarding a free-transfer.
DAVID MOYES admits Everton need to add competition to their squad – as the Blues are linked with a surprise move for goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
Moyes, speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Saturday, said that adding depth will be key when the transfer window re-opens in January if Everton are to sustain their challenge for a European qualification spot this season.
Gordon, 29, commanded a fee of £9m – a British record for a goalkeeper – when joining Sunderland from Hearts in 2007, but was released by the Black Cats in the summer after struggling with a succession of injuries, and has since failed to find a new club.
Moyes has already displayed a willingness to gamble on free agents this season. Thomas Hitzlsperger was signed on a short-term contract after proving his fitness during a trial spell, while Steven Naismith arrived in the summer having shaken off a serious knee injury sustained at former club Rangers.
Gordon is currently recuperating from a knee problem, and has previously stated he is concentrating on returning to full fitness before deciding his next move. It is understood, however, that Everton are one of a number of clubs monitoring the Scotland international’s progress.
“We need competition in all areas and that extends to Tim Howard in goal, absolutely,” said Moyes. “Everybody has got to make sure they are at the top of their game. We have got to make sure we are not continually giving away things, making mistakes that are leading to goals which cost us.
“We need competition and there hasn’t been enough of that in the last few weeks when we’ve had a few injuries. It is something we have to think about in January.”
Moyes, though happy with a promising start to the campaign, has been left frustrated by his side’s recent wobbles, which has seen them draw five of their last seven Premier League fixtures, winning just three of the last 11.
Injuries to the likes of skipper Phil Neville, Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe, Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson, plus Marouane Fellaini’s suspension, have hardly helped matters.
Moyes said: “I think realistically we have got a team who can possibly challenge for the top four still but we would need most of our players to be fit to be able to do that.
“Every club needs its squad, not just us. We’ve had a few missing in recent games and there hasn’t been a lot to change things from the bench when we’ve needed to.”
PHIL JAGIELKA insists Everton’s overall performance levels mean there is no need for panic at Goodison Park, despite being frustrated by recent dropped points.
The Blues have been left disappointed as their impressive early-season form has stalled somewhat of late. They were booed off by a minority of supporters at Goodison Park on Saturday, having conceded a last-minute equaliser to Norwich City in a game they could and should have won.
It is becoming a recurring theme for David Moyes’ side. The Norwich stalemate was the third time in four games that Everton have failed to win a game they had dominated. They remain fifth in the Premier League table, but have now won just three of their last 11 league fixtures.
“We’ve shot ourselves in the foot a bit in the last few games,” admits Jagielka. “We’ve not kicked on when we’ve started games well.
“Against Reading in the first half we played as well as we have done all season. I had a couple of chances myself, the strikers had a couple of chances and so did the midfielders. But we never took them, and we came out at the start of the second half a bit sloppy, and before you know it we were 2-1 down.
“With the couple of injuries that we’ve got, the squad isn’t looking quite as strong as it was at the beginning of the season, and maybe that doesn’t help.
“But we’re normally talking about not having many points at this stage of the season. We usually play for two-thirds of the season and forget the other one. So we can’t get hung up on results.
“We should have done better (in recent games), but there’s plenty left in the season and we’ve still got a decent platform to build on.
“If we were playing hopeless football, and not getting anywhere near the goal, not making their goalkeeper make saves, then there would be bigger issues to deal with.
“But as it is, we are either coming up against some fantastic defending or some fantastic goalkeeping.
“That’s the way the season goes.
“The Premier League is not an easy league to predict, but hopefully we can carry on the form we have started the season with.”
On a personal level, Jagielka has assumed extra responsibility over the past few weeks. With Blues captain Phil Neville ruled out until Christmas following knee surgery, the England defender has taken over the armband in his absence.
“It is always a really proud moment,” he said. “You hear the beginning bits of Z-cars and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and the goose pimples come.
“I was vice-captain at Sheffield United for a couple of years, but I was younger then and didn’t really understand what the job meant.
“But watching Nev and the way he is as a captain, it means that when he’s not there I have to step up to the plate and do a bit more talking.
“If anyone needs anything around the club, and they are not sure about how to go about it, then obviously it’s a role that I need to step up to. Phil is out for a few weeks now, so provided I stay fit and injury free and my form is good then it will be up to me.
“It is something I really enjoy doing and hopefully we can get a few wins while I’m captain.”
A SELECTION of Everton legends will be in attendance as the Blues take on Arsenal at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening, as the club unveils its Wall of Fame.
Howard Kendall, Duncan Ferguson and Graeme Sharp will be among the guests as part of the Blues’ ‘Giants Night’, in which the club will celebrate the achievements of some of its most illustrious names.
A special ceremony will be held to unveil the Wall of Fame ahead of the match and at half-time, the ‘giants’ and their representatives will walk onto the pitch to celebrate the evening with supporters.
Two former players will also be given a warm welcome back to Goodison for the game against the Gunners, with Tony Cottee and Pat Nevin confirmed as the special guests in the Executive Lounges.
Tickets can be collected from the Box Office, by calling 0871 663 1878 or by visiting www.evertonfc.com/eticketing.
Alternatively supporters can buy tickets from the city centre outlets – Everton Two in Liverpool One and the Ticket Quarter in Queen Square.
EVERTON LADIES have completed the signing of twin sisters Vicky and Kelly Jones from Liverpool, as Blues boss Andy Spence steps up his preparations for the 2013 FA WSL campaign.
The duo, 24, are Spence’s first signings since he replaced Mo Marley as manager earlier this year.
Vicky, a former captain of Liverpool, is a full-back capable of playing on either the right or the left, while Kelly is an attacking midfielder who can also play as a striker.
Having lost a number of key players during the close-season – including England duo Natasha Dowie and Fara Williams, who joined Liverpool – the double capture comes as a boost to the Blues.
Spence said: “During recent discussions with Kelly and Vicky, what came across was their real desire to be part of this new chapter for the team.
“They have had to seriously consider another offer from a fellow WSL team, however they really wanted to be part of things here at Everton and having worked with both players in the past I know they will be really good acquisitions for the squad.
“Also important is that both players have WSL experience and bring a number of options in terms of their ability to play in a number of positions.
He added: “We are working hard to bring in more new players to the squad, however we have the strong foundations of a very good squad already here and based on recent contract discussions with those players I am very hopeful that the core of the squad will come from this group of players.”