What The Papers Say - 24 February
Fallout from Saturday's game, plus Blues linked with wing duo.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
EVERTON are eyeing Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair.
The former Chelsea and Swansea wideman (left) has failed to break through at City after a £6million move from the Welsh club last summer.
He was signed as a replacement for Adam Johnson, who was sold to Sunderland for £10m.
Sinclair, 23, will be available this summer when Everton – who were interested in a loan deal in the January transfer window – will decide whether to make a firm bid. Another player on the way out at City – experienced defender Kolo Toure, 31 – is also attracting interest.
The former Arsenal centre-back will be a free agent at the end of the season and that has alerted Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia and French clubs Monaco and Montpellier.
As already revealed in the Daily Star Sunday, Monaco have an interest in another two City players – midfielder Samir Nasri and frontman Carlos Tevez.
City’s England defender Micah Richards, meanwhile, is set to make his comeback next month.
Richards, 24, has been out for four months after suffering a knee injury against Swansea.
CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich is planning a shock £15million swoop for Everton’s Leighton Baines.
The England left-back (below) was being eyed by Chelsea when Ashley Cole looked like quitting the Champions League winners for PSG in France.
But even though Cole has now signed a new one-year contract and Chelsea also have another highly-regarded left-back in Ryan Bertrand, they remain keen on Baines, 28.
He is still seen as their eventual successor to Cole, the pair being locked in a battle for England’s No. 3 shirt.
And Chelsea are aware that great rivals Man United also want the Everton defender. Baines’ attacking ability could also see him used in a more advanced role on the left side of midfield.
There is also the intriguing possibility of a reunion with his current boss at Everton, David Moyes, who is on Chelsea’s list of potential managers.
But regardless of that, Baines’ outstanding form has made him a Chelsea target while Liverpool and Bayern Munich also rate him.
And he joins team-mate Marouane Fellaini on the Stamford Bridge wish list.
CHESTERFIELD winger Tendayi Darikwa has sparked a £2million Mersey war.
Both Liverpool and Everton want Darikwa, 21, who qualifies to play for both England and Zimbabwe.
Everton boss David Moyes is so interested that he has sent six different scouts to assess the wideman, who was voted his division’s player of the month for December.
Resilience and efficiency are two of the qualities that regularly characterise David Moyes’s Everton teams. Those elements were often present for 83 minutes of this match, in which they resembled potential top-four contenders.
For the final seven and added time, those features went missing from Everton’s play. The Champions League seemed a long way away during those miserable moments in Norfolk.
It was an unexpected and galling late collapse. Having looked in control at 1-0 while keeping possession comfortably, a poor defensive line allowed Kei Kamara to head in a late equaliser from just outside the six-yard box. Suddenly the steely resolve that Everton are known for was chipped away, as emboldened Norwich City pressed forward.
With discomfort having set in, the nightmare finale followed. Russell Martin floated the ball into a dangerous part of the penalty area where Sébastien Bassong nodded the ball down for Grant Holt. The Norwich striker kept his cool, while Everton were losing theirs, and prodded in the winner.
Everton’s attack-minded players also deserved to take some culpability although it was a game of few chances. They did not have the ruthlessness required to turn control of the match into an unassailable scoreline.
The dominant emotion for Moyes at full-time appeared to be anger at the length of injury time allowed. As each second ticked by, the pressure mounted. Moyes blamed that – and his players’ profligacy – for the result. “We controlled the game, but we were wasteful,” the Everton manager said. “I can’t understand why he plays three minutes and 20 seconds added time. It was at his discretion. I disagree.”
While Everton were in despair, this was a euphoric, uplifting finish for Norwich, who have suffered so many failures to score in recent weeks.
With Holt and Luciano Becchio paired together in an unfamiliar 4-4-2, Norwich had looked ineffective again – until Kamara replaced the former Leeds player midway through the second half. The former refugee, on loan from Kansas City, added hunger, bite and aerial threat to a toothless attack.
Earlier, the man who looked set to be praised for those qualities was Marouane Fellaini. He was his usual bustling self, but became involved in a series of niggly tussles. The worst came when Bradley Johnson kicked Fellaini’s leg, leading to the Everton midfielder suffering a cut. Clearly irritated by the referee’s failure to act, the Belgian charged over to Johnson soon afterwards and appeared to strike him twice, but again the officials took no action.
Fellaini’s frustration would not last for long though, as he was a central figure in Everton’s goal.
He laid the ball off for Steven Pienaar to his left, who picked out Leighton Baines and the talented left-back delivered a well-measured cross that Leon Osman steered in with a header just outside the six-yard box.
Moyes’s team also made an assertive start to the second half, but their struggle to create clear-cut chances was punished when Kamara headed in from Robert Snodgrass’s corner. Norwich sensed Everton’s vulnerability, pushed forward and triumphed, with Kamara causing problems in the build-up to the winner.
Marouane Fellaini admits he still has a burning desire to join Chelsea, writes the Sunday People .
The Belgian midfielder will not demand a move away from Everton.
But the prospect of Champions League football at Stamford Bridge would be hugely tempting if they finally make a firm offer.
And the 25-year-old admitted: “Am I interested in Chelsea? It’s normal, right? I’ve never played in the Champions League!
“I’m happy here, I know everyone, I get along with my team-mates. It’s my home. On the other hand, I also want to take the next step. Fate will decide.
“Everton paid £20million and do not want to sell me for nothing.
“If a big club wants me, they will have to pay the price.”
Leighton Baines has emerged as a shock Chelsea target – despite the Stamford Bridge club persuading Ashley Cole to stay on for another year, writes the Sunday People .
The prospect of England’s two leading left-backs playing for the same club would appear unlikely – but insiders suggest that highly-rated Baines may initially be employed as a left midfielder before dropping back when Cole quits. And with Everton gaffer David Moyes being talked about as a leading contender to replace Rafa Benitez as Chelsea boss, the Baines link suddenly looks a lot more realistic.
However the move would spell misery for Chelsea’s young England star Ryan Bertrand, 23, who for the past two seasons has looked the ready-made replacement for 32-year-old Cole.
Baines has been the understudy for Cole with Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions – but observers believe that his form this season puts him ahead of the Chelsea veteran, who won his 100th cap earlier this month against Brazil.
Manchester United are now sniffing around Baines and that has persuaded Chelsea they need to act quickly to sign up the 28-year-old Scouser.
The likely starting price for Baines would be around £14million, with Goodison boss Moyes certain to demand top dollar for the consistent defender.
Norwich have found themselves a new hero in the unlikely shape of a one-time refugee who cut his footballing teeth in the United States.
Sierra Leone international Kei Kamara arrived at Carrow Road as a virtual unknown.
But Norwich fans, and the rest of the Premier League, will know about him now.
The loan signing from Sporting Kansas City scored a sensational equaliser to help set up a grandstand finale, completed by skipper Grant Holt in stoppage time.
But it was Kamara, making only his second substitute appearance, who took most of the plaudits as Norwich recorded their first league win for over two months.
Everton boss David Moyes conceded that Kamara ‘made all the difference’ and his opposite number Chris Hughton was in no mood to disagree.
Hughton said: “When you bring on subs you do it to affect the game and Kei certainly did that.
“He is a different type of player to what we have got and made a difference.
“He’s only trained for about a week and a half so he is not up to speed in terms of fitness, so we are excited about what he can add to the squad.” Goals have been in short supply for Norwich since the turn of the year, with the Canaries managing just one in their previous six games.
Three consecutive draws, two of them goalless, stopped the rot, but Hughton’s men had forgotten the art of winning. Until now.
Robert Snodgrass chanced his arm early on, but his shot was blocked by Sylvain Distin who was making his 400th senior appearance in English football.
And the resolute Everton defence limited Norwich to a only handful of goalscoring opportunities, as keeper Tim Howard looked comfortable in dealing with attempts from Holt and Snodgrass.
The giant figure of Marouane Fellaini threatened on a couple of occasions for the visitors, but it was the smallest man on the pitch who broke the deadlock after 39 minutes. Fellaini was involved in the move which ended with Leon Osman judging the flight of a Leighton Baines’ cross better than his Norwich markers to head home.
The Toffees continued to have the upper-hand at the start of the second half, but the inspired Hughton substitution after 58 minutes turned this game on its head.
It was a case of lights, Kamara, action as the super sub breathed new life into a Norwich side previously short on ideas and energy.
After threatening with an instinctive scissor-kick and a glancing header which went narrowly wide, it was a case of third time lucky for the man who once fled war-torn Sierra Leone.
Kamara, who came on for the ineffective Luciano Becchio, rose even higher than the enormous Fellaini to head powerfully home from a Snodgrass corner.
It was no more than Norwich deserved, and it was virtually all down to one man.
Kamara injected confidence and desire into his teammates who duly responded.
Holt was denied by Distin late on but, just when it looked as though the home side would have to settle for a fourth successive draw, their captain fantastic struck gold.
Kamara and Sebastien Bassong created havoc in the Everton six-yard box and when the ball dropped to Holt, the skipper made no mistake.
It was a magnificent comeback for a worthy win which puts Norwich on 32 points and takes them another step away from the relegation battle.
For Everton, it means their hopes of finishing fourth have suffered a major setback and Moyes said: “We have to be very good between now and the end of the season to achieve our aim.
“I cannot understand why he plays three minutes and 20 seconds for the stoppage time, but he has got that discretion, although I disagree with it.
“It’s a hard defeat to take because we controlled the game, but we weren’t good enough in the final third to get the second goal we needed.”
David Moyes has conceded Everton will have to be flawless between now and the end of the season if they are to secure a Champions League place.
The Toffees were beaten by a stoppage-time winner at Norwich on Saturday to remain in sixth place, six points adrift of Tottenham, who play at West Ham on Monday night.
Moyes was unhappy with his side's inabiilty to see out the match for the win having taken the lead through Leon Osman.
'We had controlled the game, but were wasteful in the second half when we had chances to get another goal, and we were always going to be put under pressure at the end,' he said.
'We passed it well enough and tried to do the right things, but we were not good enough in the final third - but one thing is for sure, we did not deserve to lose.'
On the club's top four hopes, he added: 'There is still chances for us to do it (get into the top four), but we are going to have to be very good to do it. However, we should have seen this one out, if we have any real ambitions, then we have to make sure we do not lose that game.'