Category Archives: Everton

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Romelu Lukaku is weighing in with some key contributions, Christian Benteke is not and Tottenham are showing how much weaker they are without Christian Eriksen

Sergio Agüero has had a curiosity of a campaign. He has been injured, benched and below par at times. He has been outscored by Raheem Sterling for much of the season. Yet his hat-trick on Saturday meant he has scored 20 goals for a fifth successive campaign. Further milestones await: Agüero is nine away from becoming the first man to score 200 for City. He is 11 behind his career-best tally of 33 and, with successive cup ties against Championship opponents, Bristol City and Cardiff, he has the chance to make further inroads before Gabriel Jesus is fit again. Besides the numbers, the encouraging element for City is that, after an autumnal slump, Agüero looks to have regained his sharpness. He produced purposeful, elusive dribbling, often a sign he is at his best. The sense is that he is relishing the responsibility of being the only available striker while Jesus is out. Richard Jolly

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Oumar Niasse’s volley earns draw for listless Everton against West Brom

Sam Allardyce would have chosen a more salubrious way to celebrate managing 1,000 games in English football, but might console himself that things should have been even worse. Everton could hardly have looked less coherent but saved a point in a manner that will provide a drop of encouragement.

It will do Theo Walcott’s confidence no harm that, on an otherwise quiet debut, he provided the assist from which substitute Oumar Niasse equalised Jay Rodriguez’s goal, and that is as far as the positives go.

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Theo Walcott: the great hope who failed to kick on in Arsenal comfort zone | Amy Lawrence

Walcott leaves for Everton as a symbol of the later Wenger years, his flashes of undeniable talent mixed with unreliability and always being same old Theo when new Theo was required

In the end the writing on the wall was spelled out boldly enough for Theo Walcott to recognise the comfort zone was not really that comfortable at all. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the departure of a forward who spent more than a decade at Arsenal, mostly in this strange space where he grew older and signed new contracts while being judged about how far he was – or ever could reach – on the potential fulfilment scale, is that he uprooted at all. Walcott has in some ways been a perfect symbol of the later Wenger years: flashes of undeniable talent mixed with unreliability, a sense of sticking with the same old familiar tune rather than finding a way to fire up the rhythm.

Walcott always looked like the last person who would want out of Arsenal. It was a good life for him and his family, and as a decent and polite sort he tended to prefer to play safe rather than agitate. The message this season, however, encouraged him to make a break for it and seek a new challenge. He couldn’t get more than 63 minutes of Premier League football during a period where the team have struggled. Last weekend at Bournemouth, with no Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Özil or Olivier Giroud, the manager picked Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi to support Alexandre Lacazette in attack. Last season Welbeck and Iwobi scored four goals each. Walcott delivered 19. They were trusted to start and he wasn’t. There wasn’t much comfort to be found on that bench.

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Theo Walcott’s £20m Everton move spells trouble for Lookman and Vlasic | Andy Hunter

Sam Allardyce says Theo Walcott ‘should be at the peak of his career’ and he is an experienced goalscorer but his arrival is bad news for Everton’s youngsters

Sam Allardyce believes Theo Walcott “should be at the peak of his career” at 28 and with the experience of 397 games played over a dozen years at Arsenal behind him. Should be. It is a career in need of revival instead, and a £20m relocation to Everton offers no such guarantees.

The transfer suits club and player in many respects. The squad assembled by the director of football, Steve Walsh, and former manager Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park is imbalanced. It desperately lacks pace and width, even with Yannick Bolasie available after a long-term knee injury, and there appears an obvious place for Walcott to reclaim a regular starting role in the Premier League, his form and perhaps even an England recall in World Cup year on the right of Everton’s attack.

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Roberto Firmino racism allegations overshadow Liverpool win over Everton

• Brazilian forward clashed with Mason Holgate in first half of Cup tie
• FA expected to launch an investigation into the flare-up

The Football Association is expected to launch an investigation into allegations by the Everton defender Mason Holgate that he was racially abused by Roberto Firmino during Liverpool’s FA Cup win at Anfield.

Holgate clashed with the Liverpool forward after pushing him over the advertising hoardings in the first half of the home side’s 2-1 victory. Firmino reacted furiously and ran towards the Everton defender, who erupted after something was said by the Brazil international. Holgate had to be restrained by several team-mates and appeared to complain to the referee, Robert Madley, that a racist term had been used. The match official reported the allegation to the fourth official, Jon Moss, and spoke to the 21-year-old again after the game.

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Virgil van Dijk crowns Liverpool debut to see off Everton in Cup derby

The first instalment has been repaid. Virgil van Dijk announced his arrival as Liverpool’s record signing and the world’s most expensive defender with an 85th-minute winner to knock Everton out of the FA Cup, the first time the visitors have suffered that fate in their history. There was no better way for Liverpool’s debutant to respond to the pressure and expectation.

Related: Liverpool 2-1 Everton: FA Cup third round – as it happened

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Carvalhal needs immediate impact at Swansea, Schmeichel seeks redemption and Chelsea’s Azpilicueta-Morata combination threatens Stoke

The wisdom of appointing Carlos Carvalhal as Swansea’s new manager is, to say the least, questionable: a man who was dismissed on Christmas Eve for underachieving with Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship does not inspire confidence. Still, he may prove successful: many doubted him when he arrived at Wednesday in 2015, and he started well there, reaching the play-offs in his first two seasons. But if he is to change things at the Liberty Stadium, he needs to do it immediately. After Saturday’s game at Watford, three of Swansea’s next four league games are against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool. If they do not beat the Hornets, they could soon be staring down the barrel of being shy of safety by double figures and of relegation looking even more inevitable than it does now. That new manager bounce needs to be pretty high. NM

Carvalhal says he is a ‘football romantic’ as he aims to keep Swansea up

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