Dec 102014
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Stick with the ECHO for the latest news, views rumours and more about Everton FC – produced by us and gathered from around the world

Neil Jones will be here from 7am to ensure constant coverage of all things Blue, including news, great photos, nostalgia, live interviews and much more.

Alex Rea will then join the fun from Wednesday to Sunday at 3pm to take you all the way through to 11pm to ensure you are always updated on all the breaking news from Goodison.

There will be polls, stats and live webchats with our EFC reporter Greg O’Keeffe each week, plus the inside line from Finch Farm as we bring you every press conference and interview.

We want you to get involved too – tell us your thoughts on what’s happening at Goodison by tweeting Neil @neiljonesecho or Alex @AlexReaSport . You can also send our Everton Twitter page a message @LivEchoEFC.

Neil Jones

Everton FC Europa League match against Wolfsburg at Volkswagen Arena Wolfsburg Germany. Tim Howard salutes the fans

Interesting stuff from the Everton ‘keeper, as he discusses his initial feelings about Roberto Martinez after his appointment at Everton.

“Roberto had a reputation for being classy and confident, affable and intelligent,” he writes.

“Officially, I was optimistic.

“But in truth I felt wary and defensive. Everton was my team. He was the newbie.

“He’d be bringing a different style with him, not to mention a new goalkeeping coach. He was going to have to earn the right to belong. He and his whole gang.

“The start of the 2013-14 season, when Roberto came on as manager, was like an old-time high school dance, with the boys on one side of the wall and the girls on the other.

“Everyone was sizing each other up, but nobody knew who was who, or what to expect. I was determined to keep an open mind about Roberto and his crew.

“But the truth was, I didn’t feel particularly receptive to new ideas; I had a set way of working and I didn’t want anybody messing with it.

“And Roberto did things differently. Our training sessions were shorter, but higher intensity than I was used to. Roberto was transforming our style of play, encouraging us to focus more on ball possession – and not just in attack.

“He wanted our defenders to pass the ball out from the back rather than hitting long clearances. It would take some getting used to.”

Howard also discusses his lifelong battle with Tourette’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, and his hopes for the future.

Read the full extracts

Neil Jones

Everton FC star Samuel Eto’o with with 8 year old Catleyn at Gwladys Street Primary School Liverpool to launch the book donation scheme

Nice tale, is this.

Samuel Eto’o dropped in to Gwladys Street Primary School to kick-start at Christmas reading campaign.

The Blues star donated copies of Birth of a Champion, a graphic novel about his life, to Gwladys Street Primary School.

Year 5 pupil Daniel Bell was chosen to greet Eto’o in the playground on his 10th birthday.

Full story, with great pics and video, here

Neil Jones
Action Images / Jason Cairnduff Everton's Tim Howard

Everton’s Tim Howard

Tim Howard will be at Waterstone’s, Liverpool ONE, from 4pm this Friday (12 December) to sign copies of his new autobiography ‘The Keeper’.

Full details here

Neil Jones

Today’s ECHO back page

Here’s today’s ECHO Sport back page

Neil Jones

Good, well fought win against a good @StevenageFC side in the youth cup! Happy to build up my match fitness since the injury aswell

— Michael Donohue (@michael_dono7) December 9, 2014

Neil Jones

Good news for the Blues’ U18 side in the FA Youth Cup last night. Onwards and upwards.

FT: Stevenage U18s 1-2 #EFCU18. Dyson and Broadhead goals in extra time put young Blues through to fourth round of the #FAYouthCup.

— Everton (@Everton) December 9, 2014

Neil Jones

So, Blues fans, what’s your team for Krasnodar?

Arouna Kone in? Christian Atsu? Which of the kids would you give a chance to? Would you play any regular first teamers?

Let me know on here or @neiljonesecho on Twitter.

Neil Jones
Neil Jones
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez United States goalkeeper Tim Howard smiles during player introductions before an international friendly soccer match against Azerbaijan

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard smiles during player introductions before an international friendly soccer match against Azerbaijan

Everton have moved to try and expand their fanbase in the USA by signing up to a major new partnership.

The Blues will become the first European club to offer supporters in America exclusive access to matchday tickets, travel packages and US-specific merchandise through the new website – launched in tandem with Global Football America.

Blues ‘keeper Tim Howard, as you can imagine, has backed the move.

Read the full story here

Neil Jones

Everton Manager Roberto Martinez gave a Christmas surprise to nurses as they toured Goodison Park Everton Manager Roberto Martinez gave a Christmas surprise to nurses as they toured Goodison Park

Nice piece here with Roberto Martinez, who greeted a group of nurses at Goodison Park to present them with their awards as ‘Blue Heroes’.

There were 28 nurses, after each hospital in the region was invited to nominate Evertonians who deserved special recognition, or who will be spending Christmas caring for people in need.

“It’s one of those days that we, as a football club, are so proud to be able to give some good feeling back to many, many special people,” Martinez said.

“What they do on a daily basis is so important and so vital for everyone in the community, for everyone in the city and Merseyside as a whole.

“For us to highlight many Evertonians that are special with their commitment and time on a daily basis and affecting so many families in the right manner and in special times is wonderful.

“Working in a hospital is a significant time for anyone, it always shocks you when you have to be in a hospital and people like the Blue Heroes that we recognise today make that time different and what they give back is quite unique.

“We’ve been delighted to be able to recognise them for what they do and wish them a very special Christmas.”

The full story, complete with pics and video, is here

Neil Jones

Everton's Christian Atsu battles for the ball with Swansea City's Tommy Carroll during the Capital One Cup Third Round match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea Everton’s Christian Atsu battles for the ball with Swansea City’s Tommy Carroll during the Capital One Cup Third Round match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea
We’ve not seen much of him in an Everton shirt, but Christian Atsu insists his best is still to come at Goodison.
The Ghanaian should feature in the Europa League match against Krasnodar on Thursday night.
And he says: “It’s been quite difficult since I came here but I believe things will be okay and go well.
“I’m working hard for the team and I believe the fans haven’t seen the best of me yet.
“I know everything depends on the player. The player has to work hard for the manager to see him and pick him to play. I know how football is and everything depends on me. I’m working hard to get into the team.
“I don’t know if I will start [on Thursday] but, if I do, I will give my best to the team and fans. I will make sure I will be at my best to help the team win.”

Read the full interview here

Neil Jones

Good morning all. It’s a miserable day on Merseyside, again, but we at the ECHO will be attempting to brighten it for Everton fans. We’ll have all the latest Blues news, views and previews to tomorrow’s Europa League game with Krasnodar at Goodison. I’ll be with you until 3pm, so give me a shout here or on Twitter (@neiljonesecho) if you have anything to contribute.

Have you signed up for the newsletter. Every signup or comment left gets another entry into the draw. This week win Everton clothing.

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