What The Papers Say - 7 January
Plenty of FA Cup build-up featured in Monday's papers
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
PHIL JAGIELKA wants to end his career at Everton.
The England defender signed a contract extension last week which means he will remain at Goodison until 2017 when he will be 34, but Jagielka hopes he will continue in a blue shirt until he is ready to hang up his boots.
He said: “I hope so. I really enjoy playing here. It wasn’t a long discussion to extend my contract here, I was delighted to do so. I’m proud to be part of this club and especially if we keep forward the way we are at the moment, maybe there’ll be another contract extension in a few years to come.
“With the sports science, the equipment, the fitness coaches and the physio team around us, it does help you progress further. Sylvain (Distin) is a fantastic professional. You wouldn’t think he was the age he is – you’d think he would be close to 10 years younger with the way he plays and that’s a credit to him.
“You look at Phil Neville as well, he’s not the youngest and he recently played his 500th Premier League game. If you can keep yourself fit and on top of your game like Sylvain has been doing, I’m sure he has another year or two in him.
“I love being here and the club have obviously not minded extending my deal for another two years so I’m looking forward to the future.”
The Sale-born defender said that securing key players on long-term deals is important to bolster the stability of David Moyes’ squad.
“We’re not able to go into the transfer market and buy lots and lots of players every time the window opens, so when we do get key players and good players in the squad, we want to keep them for as long as possible,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of options and we’ve got a group of players that have been here a while now. We’re so close as a unit and we’ve got a lot of players with attacking flair that can score goals and create chances.
“We’ve got a good blend of young and old, so the squad is definitely up there. We’ve had a good start to the season and hopefully we can have a good rest of the campaign and progress from there – not only this season, but I’ve signed for a few years and I hope we go further up the league and be in this situation year-in, year-out.
“Just before I came, Phil and Tim Howard had been a year to 18 months. Obviously we had Tim (Cahill) then before he left in the summer.
“Then you’ve got myself, Bainesy – this is our sixth season here. Ossie and Hibbo have been here all the time.
“So there’s a lot of lads that have been here over five years which is a long time to stay at a club these days. I think it proves on the pitch, when we do need to dig in, everybody knows each other that well that it makes it a little bit easier.”
With the Blues in fifth place in the Premier League, Jagielka admitted that the possibility of a return to European football is driving them on – especially after avoiding their previous habit of bad starts to the season.
“I think the disappointment of the starts of so many seasons has meant that you’re sort of deflated before you’re even 10 games in,” he said.
“This season we’ve managed to keep ourselves in with a chance. We’ve not been this high up with as many points around Christmas for a long time. I wouldn’t say pressure starts taking a place but it’s a nice pressure. Rather than looking behind us thinking we need to win to stay out of the bottom three, it’s a case of playing a day late at Newcastle and the pressure being on to stay with the leaders.
“That’s a lot better and I’m sure if you asked the lads in the dressing room, it would be something that we all wanted.
“The march towards a European place is motivating us, but we’re not looking too far ahead.
“The manager has said that and we haven’t got the biggest of squads so we have to take it basically each game at a time. At the moment, that’s not working too badly for us.”
THESE days the FA Cup third round stage inevitably sees managers asked if the historic competition is losing some of its former magic.
And although boss David Moyes acknowledges that the Premier League must always be his overriding priority, he is keen as ever for the Blues to go all the way in the cup, even if he knows it does not offer the same vital financial incentives as the league.
“The next game is always the most important one, and we’ll try and use it like that,” he says.
“We enjoyed getting to the semi-final last year, we enjoyed getting to the final a few years ago so we’d love to try and do it again.
“But obviously there’s still part of me that says, it looks like we’ll be a Premier League team next season which I think will always be first and foremost for most teams.
“It’s as important as any other game at the moment and we’ll try and treat it that way.
“The media come here every week and talk about the Premier League; the games, the full houses, the best league in the world etc. Then it’s a sudden change to the most important thing is the FA Cup.
“All the managers treat the FA Cup with real significance but there are 12 or 13 teams who would shake your hand on going out of the FA Cup but being in the Premier League next season.
“You look at the financials. We had a pretty good run last season, played Liverpool in the semi-finals and there’s no sign of that.
“It’s not the big money-spinner. The big money-spinner is the cheque you get from Sky for being in the Premier League. Nobody is disrespecting the FA Cup whatsoever but that’s the hard facts of it.
“There have been a lot of Premier League games this week. Everyone’s saturated with the games, it’s coming just off the back of saturation. But I suppose it’s always the way this time of year when the third round comes in anyway.”
EVERTON manager David Moyes will use the memory of his first ignominious FA Cup experience with Everton as motivation for tonight’s trip to Cheltenham.
The Scot had been in charge at Goodison Park for 10 months when he took his side to Shrewsbury in the third round and saw former Toffees’ defender Kevin Ratcliffe, in charge of a side 80 places below in the lower reaches of the then third division, get the better of him.
Moyes has never forgotten that result – or a home defeat to League One Oldham four years ago – and it always seems to spring to mind when Everton get drawn against lower league opposition around this time of year.
Everton have already come unstuck this season against lower-placed opposition when Leeds beat them in the Capital One Cup.
“I am more wary of what happened against Shrewsbury 10 years ago,” said Moyes ahead of the trip to the npower League Two side.
“We went out then so it’s happened to us in the past. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen – although we were trying to do that then as well.
“There are no guarantees in football, you have to go and earn the right to win the games.
“You like to play at home but when you see some of the real mouth-watering ties which have come out – some all-Premier League clashes – I wouldn’t say we’ve been lucky but at least we have lower opposition.
“It has not always been the easiest thing in the past, we have lost at places like Shrewsbury and we lost at home to Oldham so we’re well aware how difficult it will be, no matter who you draw.
“You would expect Premier League players to have the extra quality but is their attitude right, are they prepared for what is to come?
“The lower opposition tend to get themselves a little bit higher and more ready for it as it gives them a chance to showcase themselves and you have to be ready for that.”
Everton reached the 2009 FA Cup final and were denied a place in last year’s Wembley showpiece by near-neighbours Liverpool’s semi-final victory
Moyes has yet to win a trophy in nearly 11 years at the club and the FA Cup, which the Toffees last lifted in 1995, remains one of his most sought-after targets even if he believes it has lost some of its appeal for other clubs.
“We want to go as far as we can in the FA Cup,” he added.
“We’ll not under-estimate Cheltenham and we’ll have to go there and do a really good job if we are to get through to the next round.
“It is something where Everton have had success at times and it is a competition people would like you to be involved in.
“We’ve been to one final, got to the semi-final last season so we’d like to do it again and get to the cup final.
“I think it has lost its excitement a little bit, as it goes on it gets better.
“There is so much at stake now in the Premier League, there is so much coverage, so in a way the FA Cup has been put on the back burner.
“I think it is a cup every team wants to win.
“But if you really pushed the chairmen and managers of clubs they would say certainly doing well in the Premier League is the priority.”
DAVID MOYES admits he faces a dilemma in helping Ross Barkley fulfil his Everton first-team potential.
The Blues boss recalled the gifted teenager from a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday in November as injuries reduced his midfield options, but insists it is not easy to blood him in high-pressure Premier League games.
Moyes is set to give Barkley, 19, a chance to shine in tonight’s FA Cup third round tie against League Two outfit Cheltenham Town, but will not rule out loaning him out again in January to help his development.
He said: “We have to remember he is a young boy and we’re bringing him on. He missed a bit of football but I will continue to edge him nearer to our first team. When the right opportunities come and I think it’s the right time, I will do that.
“If I don’t get him enough of them I will put him back on loan. That’s my thoughts. Probably people can see where he is needing the games and where he is still needing more experience. The boy is going to be a very good player but he is still young and still young maturity wise and we have to be wary of that.
“We’ve no problem with boys making mistakes, but you don’t want to make mistakes that cost the team, especially when we are in such a good position. It’s something I have to balance. When can I give him the opportunities when maybe the mistakes aren’t so important? If I can’t find those times then I will have to let him go back on loan and let him learn more somewhere else.”
Moyes will assess whether he is able to further reinforce his midfield during this month’s transfer window before he makes a decision on Barkley’s short-term future, but thinks the spell at Hillsborough – when the England U-21 international scored four goals in 13 appearances – helped him to mature.
“He came back a much better player,” said Moyes. “He had more maturity about him and the games did work for him and help him. We have to remember he is just 19 and we should not expect too much, too soon from him. Everyone builds him up and they need to take a step back and let him come on. We’ll get him in the team when we think he is ready.
“Some come on sooner than others. Players develop at different times and we have to see where. Because we developed the likes of Wayne and Jack there’s a clamour to see it again, but they’re not all the same. They come along in different ways.
“The big thing for Ross was at 15 he missed over a year of development with a broken leg and hernia operation, so he missed a lot of personal development at that age.”
Seamus Coleman should be fit for tonight, but Kevin Mirallas is not yet ready.
MARK YATES says his Cheltenham side have to believe they can be giantkillers when Everton come to town tonight and insists they are not there just to enjoy the FA Cup third round experience.
David Moyes and his side of internationals head to the Cotswolds to face a side fourth in npower League Two in front of a 7,000 sell-out crowd and the ESPN cameras in what is the first-ever competitive senior meeting between the clubs.
And Yates, whose Robins have one of the best home records in the division, is not content with thoughts of a few good memories and some positive exposure for the club.
“We won’t be going out there saying ‘let’s just enjoy it and let’s take a 2-0 defeat’ and be happy with that,” he said.
“We will go out there having planned and prepared properly and make sure the players do all they can to make sure we give ourselves a chance.
“It is only 11 v 11 and yes, they are Premier League players, but you never know.
“After 60 minutes if we are 3-0 down we might not believe quite so much but right at this moment in time we have to believe we can do something.
“The Cup has got a tradition of shocks, so why not?
“We want to cause a shock and we know that is a big task. But we know we have the capabilities to do it.”
Cheltenham's preparations for Monday night’s FA Cup third round tie against Everton have been hit after the club suffered a burglary at their training ground.
Thieves broke into the Seasons Conference Centre and ransacked the dressing room, taking wallets, watches and phones belonging to the players.
They also took car keys and lifted property from the vehicles owned by Mark Yates’s squad before making off.
The club informed Gloucestershire Police within minutes of discovering the crime had taken place on Sunday lunchtime.
Yates said: ‘Obviously, it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and is not the ideal preparation for the game.
'We haven’t had any problems like this before. One of the club staff has worked here throughout the 10 years we have used the facilities as a base and not encountered any problems.
‘So we are now going to have to review our procedures. It’s a shame but we are wondering whether the club have been targeted. A couple of the lads mentioned that other clubs have fallen victim to the same crime.
David Moyes is ready to unleash the next star off the Everton production line.
Ross Barkley is a teenager whom the Blues boss is convinced will follow Wayne Rooney into the England team.
But even though the midfielder, 19, will be given the chance to prove himself in the visit to Cheltenham, Moyes admits he will need to be more careful with the kid’s development than was required with the early maturing Rooney.
“We have to remember Ross is a young boy and we’re bringing him on. He missed a bit of football but I will continue to edge him nearer to our first team,” he explained.
“The boy is going to be a very good player, and I have always thought he will play for England, but we must be wary.”
Moyes will use the Cup for the chance to rotate his team after four games in 11 days, and he admits that is the price the competition must pay for the all-embracing financial dominance of the Premier League.
“The big money-spinner is the cheque you get from Sky for being in the Premier League. Nobody is disrespecting the FA Cup,” he said.
Darren Carter scored one of the most lucrative goals in football history – and now he is chasing a famous giant-killing FA Cup winner.
Midfielder Carter was the toast of hometown club Birmingham as a teenager for his Championship play-off final penalty.
His sudden-death decider in the May 2002 shoot-out against Norwich sent Blues into the Premier League for the first time.
Carter admits achieving so much so young and playing in the top flight has made the rest of his career something of an anti-climax.
But he is dreaming of another televised winner tonight against David Moyes’ Toffees for League Two minnows Cheltenham.
Solihull-born Carter, 29, said: “To help beat Everton would be up there without a shadow of a doubt.
“To start my career the way I did was the pinnacle.
“As a Birmingham fan to do what we did and be part of it, I look at that and think how am I ever going to match that.
“My family are all season-ticket holders and a lot of Birmingham fans still mention that moment.
“We had gone so close to promotion as a club before and lost on penalties, so it was special to finally succeed.
“In my career I have had some great times and, if we were to beat Everton, it would definitely be one of them.”
Carter has five goals for the high-flying Robins this season after joining on a short-term contract until January 23 to prove his fitness.
Cheltenham are anxious to keep him but Carter, who cost West Brom £1.5million when he left Birmingham in 2005, is keeping his options open as a free agent.
He added: “It was best for myself and the club to do it in the summer until January.
“All I have done is keep my head down, working hard, always with the thought that in the last few weeks of the deal we reassess it.
“I will see where we are in a week’s time after Everton.”
Carter insists Town’s Whaddon Road ground is in decent condition considering all the rain in Gloucestershire.
He is not Cheltenham’s designated penalty-taker but has promised to volunteer if necessary.
Carter said: “I have always said whenever penalties come around or in a shoot-out, I will step up and take one.
“I have taken a few penalties in my career and always scored... though one was from a rebound after the keeper saved it.”