What The Papers Say - 31 May

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton. 

Micah Richards has described the atmosphere at Goodison Park for Everton’s final-day showdown with Bournemouth the loudest he's ever experienced.

The Blues secured Premier League safety after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning strike earned the Toffees a 1-0 victory over the Cherries on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking on The Monday Night Club for 5 Live Sport, and quoted by the Liverpool ECHO, Richards said: “I was at the game, and I have to say it's the loudest I've ever heard, at any stadium, I've ever been at.”

The former Manchester City defender went on to praise the Everton players for showing character and managing to implement their game plan.

Richards said: "I've got to give credit to the players because to play under that pressure, going into the game with the crowd, the expectation, being brave on the ball, not hiding.

"The character showed, and they had a game plan... It took immense courage from the players because that could've been a banana skin."

Elsewhere, the Liverpool ECHO highlights the six key moments that helped Everton to secure their Premier League status.

One of which, according to the local read, was Jordan Pickford’s penalty save against Leicester City.

“Everton's trip to the King Power was as big as they come,” they write. “The game had the potential to be fatal to the side that lost.

“Everton took the lead through a Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty but on the brink of half-time were 2-1 down and had just watched club captain Seamus Coleman get stretchered off the pitch.

“When a penalty was given to the hosts for a Michael Keane handball it felt as though taker James Maddison had the Blues' fate in his control.

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Manager's verdict as Blues retain Premier League status with 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

“Yet instead of wheeling away in celebration Maddison was left stunned after Jordan Pickford stood tall and saved. Pickford had notes about Leicester’s penalty takers on his water bottle, and a camera later captured the detail of the briefings.

“The bottle told him to stay in the middle should Maddison step up. The save kept Everton alive in the game and an Alex Iwobi goal led to a crucial point.”

Lastly, the impressive season of Everton’s James Tarkowski has received recognition in the Daily Mail.

The Blues’ defender remained an ever-present for the Toffees this season, finishing the campaign as the only outfield player in the Premier League to complete every single minute of the 2022/23 campaign.

However, as Dominic Hogan explains in the article, the 30-year-old offered far more than just consistency across his 3,420 Premier League minutes.

“Tarkowski ended the season with the most blocks per game (2.1) in the Premier League, as well as the sixth-highest clearances per game (5.2) and was joint-fifth for aerials won (3.2)," he said.

“Along with his defensive efforts, the England international managed a goal and assist, too, which amounted to four points won for the Toffees that would have proven pivotal in in the club’s fight against relegation.

“Tarkowski becomes the first Everton defender to play every minute of a season since club legend Leighton Baines managed to do so in 2012-13 under now-West Ham boss David Moyes.”