What The Papers Say - 19 February
A round-up of Everton coverage in Tuesday's newspapers.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
KEVIN MIRALLAS hopes David Moyes’ popularity at Everton will persuade him to sign a new contract and lead the Blues into Europe next season.
The Belgium international forward admitted he is particularly keen for the Scot, who has postponed a decision on his future until the summer, to stay after he paid £5m to bring him to Goodison from Olympiakos last year.
Mirallas, 25, said: “Of course I would be keen if he signed, he showed confidence in me by bringing me to club.
“He has been Everton for many years and is very popular with the fans, chairman and players and I am sure he will sign.
“I cannot see why he wouldn’t because of those reasons.”
Moyes revealed on Friday that he will assess Everton’s progress at the end of the current campaign before deciding on the next step in his managerial career, with a return to European football a priority for him.
Mirallas also hopes the Blues can compete in the Champions League next term, and ahead of their FA Cup replay with Oldham a week tomorrow, he is also targeting an addition to the Goodison trophy room.
He added: “If it was down to me winning a trophy would be great, but Champions League qualification would be fantastic.”
The Blues, who travel to Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday, currently occupy sixth spot in the table and are six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
EVERTON secured their passage to the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup with an emphatic 4-2 victory over 2009 winners Arsenal at Underhill.
Despite going behind to an early Chuba Akpom strike, goals from Matthew Pennington, Chris Long, Conor Grant and Harry Charsley helped the young Blues see off Arsenal’s youth in magnificent fashion.
The home side began the game with confidence enjoying much of the early possession and broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, when Anthony Jeffrey whipped a dangerous cross in from the right touchline for Akpom to convert from inside the six-yard box.
The lead didn’t last long and minutes later Matthew Kennedy, who was a constant thorn in Arsenal’s side, forced a free-kick on the edge of Arsenal’s area.
Captain Tom Molyneux measured his delivery to perfection as Pennington, who scored in the fourth round victory at Port Vale, rose unchallenged to power his header in.
The away side took the lead in the opening moments of the second half when Long’s deflected strike nestled in the top corner.
Moments later, Long’s cross from the right gave Arsenal’s defence problems and Grant was on hand to scramble home Everton’s third.
Gnabry then hit the post for Arsenal as they tried to force their way back into the game before an Everton counter-attack which resulted in Pennington crossing from the right for Charsley to tap it in at the back post.
Arsenal managed a consolation with the goal of game from Gnabry but Kevin Sheedy’s young side hung on.
(Ian Snodin column)
IT’S one of football’s great mysteries how players from the lower leagues can find within themselves the extra skill or dedication to beat opponents from the very top – but that’s part of the FA Cup’s enduring appeal.
I know that when I was a young player at Doncaster I used to lift my game when we’d play a bigger club in the cup, and that was the case at Boundary Park on Saturday night when Everton ended up facing a replay.
It obviously isn’t ideal but I’m happy that at the very least we’re still in the draw for the next round. I’m sure if you ask Liverpool fans they’d be glad to swap places.
In the end it was Matt Smith, who caused Brendan Rodgers’ side so many problems, that popped up and did it again against the Blues and even though we all knew what he was capable of, I was surprised by the outcome.
I honestly thought Everton had enough to get the job done at the first time of asking.
But like I say, I’ve been the underdog before I signed for Everton and there’s nothing quite like the visit of a bigger club to stir the emotions and make you give every last bit of effort.
The really frustrating thing was that Everton had largely put in a professional performance that merited victory, until the last minute of injury time.
Without playing brilliantly we had controlled the possession and scored a couple of goals, but in fairness to the Latics they were always a threat.
The prospect of facing Wigan at Goodison in the quarter-finals is an enticing one.
The players will see that as a huge opportunity to get to Wembley because although they’re a solid side, Wigan are beatable.
If they really want to win a trophy for themselves, the club and the manager they simply have to beat Wigan and march on.
The manner in which Oldham played on Saturday means you can’t write them off but I’m still confident.
It will have taken an enormous amount of effort from them, physically and mentally, to get a result on Saturday and it would be a big ask to do it all again at Goodison without their own fans roaring them on so noisily.
One thing we will have to do is to take our chances early, because if we’d been a bit more clinical we could have taken the wind out of Oldham earlier rather than letting the game tick along with them still in with a chance of getting something.
I’m sure David Moyes will set some extra homework for his defenders on set-pieces but it’s very difficult to cope with repeated corners when a team puts 11 men in the area like Oldham did.
I’m pretty sure there was a foul by Dean Bouzanis in the corner immediately before they scored, but that’s what you have to deal with. Let’s hope lightening doesn’t strike twice.
Callum McManaman is desperate Everton beat Oldham to land Wigan an FA Cup quarter-final against his old club.
McManaman, 21, began his career at Everton before joining the Latics at 16 and would love to return to Goodison Park, even though Oldham might be easier for Roberto Martinez’s men.
“Personally, I hope it’s Everton,” said the England Under-20 winger, who was the star of Wigan’s fifth-round win over Huddersfield. “When I saw the draw I was made up. I’m really happy with it.
“We’re only one game away from a Wembley semi-final and a couple away from going the whole way.
“You never know what might happen. It would be great if the club could reach the Final for the first time and hopefully we can do it.”
Wigan have won three straight away games in the Cup and McManaman says they must reproduce this form in Saturday’s relegation showdown with Reading at the DW.
“We need to carry this form into the league, especially with a really big match coming up against Reading,” he said.
“Now we can all concentrate on trying to climb above the relegation zone and keep the club up.”
OLDHAM FA Cup hero Matt Smith is facing a club fine - despite earning the cash-strapped outfit a lucrative £500,000 replay at Everton.
The striker came on to plunder a stoppage-time equaliser against the Toffees at Boundary Park.
Smith, who scored twice to sink Liverpool in the previous round, made it 2-2 to earn the Latics a money-spinning trip to Goodison Park fora fifth-round replay.
But Smith forgot club orders not to swap shirts at the final whistle due to a kit shortage.
He got so excited he threw his shirt into the home crowd and he will now be fined a week's wages - around £400.
Club officials are also trying to find the fan who got Smith's shirt - to ask them to return it to Boundary Park.
Caretaker-manager Tony Philliskirk signed a letter which was pinned on the dressing room door before the game telling his players not to swap jerseys.
A club source said: "There is an automatic fine system in place for misplaced pieces of the kit.
"In the meantime we will do what we can to get our hands on as many of the missing shirts as possible."
Smith, who hadn't trained for three weeks prior to the clash because of a shoulder problem, expects to be fit for another crack at the Toffees.
He said: "I have only been able to train twice since the Liverpool game.
"But all being well, I should be fit to start against Everton in the replay."