Dec 122014
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Morning Merseyside! Be gentle with me. I can file an 800 word analysis on the whistle, or top and tail a 1,000 word runner before the match has even finished, but I’m new to this LiveBlog lark! Plenty going on today … including Roberto giving his press conference ahead of Monday’s visit of QPR. Get involved!!

The ECHO’s liveblog is the only place for all the latest news, views rumours and more about Everton FC – produced by us and gathered from around the world

Dave Prentice and the team will be with you today 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 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 Prenno @Prenno or Alex @AlexReaSport. You can also tweet our EFC Twitter page @LivEchoEFC with all your thoughts on the days events.

Stick with the ECHO for the best EFC coverage around

David Prentice
Martinez Press Conference Wrap Up

Barely 14 hours after he last spoke to the press, there was nothing dramatically revealing from the pre-QPR press conference.

Salient points were: John Stones has trained and is contention for QPR, along with James McCarthy, Steven Naismith and Darron Gibson. Be a big surprise if Stones is involved though after such a long absence.

Ryan Ledson is ready to compete for a first team place.

And if Roberto IS planning any transfer activity in January, he’s keeping it a closely guarded secret!

Everton’s John Stones. Peter Byrne/PA Wire  

David Prentice
More Martinez

Report on Christian Atsu hamstring injury is due in the next couple of hours.

Roberto Martinez believes two or three of the young players who faced Krasnodar are ready to fight for their first team places now.

“To see Kieran Dowell and Ryan Ledson at 17 cope with that environment was a phenomenal sign,” he said.

David Prentice
More from Martinez

Martinez added: “It is true that at the moment, points-wise, we haven’t got what we want and we are catching up a bit. But I do feel we are ready to set real high standards in the league.”

On transfer speculation Martinez added: “We must be getting close to January. I am happy with the numbers and squad we have here.”

David Prentice
Martinez presser

Gareth Barry wanted to be involved against Krasnodar because he is suspended for QPR and wanted to help Ryan Ledson. “That was a nice touch,” said Roberto Martinez.

On Monday’s visit of QPR the Blues boss added: “Harry Redknapp has found the right formula and QPR are at the best moment of their season.

“It’s a very, very important period of the season for us and this is the worst time of the season to play them. We will give them the respect they deserve.”

David Prentice
Roberto Martinez Presser

We’re underway!

Steven Naismith, James McCarthy, John Stones and Darron Gibson “All have an opportunity to be involved” on Monday says Martinez.

“Arouna Kone is fully fit and back in the fold too,” says Roberto. John Stones is two or three weeks ahead of schedule and has trained once with the first team.

David Prentice
David Prentice
Roberto Martinez pre-QPR Press Conference

Roberto’s obviously working them hard today. Press Conference scheduled to start at 12.15pm. But video link now counting down from nine minutes!!

As soon as it starts we’ll bring you all the relevant details

David Prentice
Answer to Captains in 1997-98

Gary Speed started the season as skipper, Dave Watson got the armband back when Speedo was injured on Boxing Day at Old Trafford. Howard Kendall took the inspired decision to then give Duncan Ferguson the armband v Bolton. When he got injured it was a less inspired decision to hand it to Slaven Bilic for a goaless draw v Newcastle. Then finally, Nick Barmby wore it for three games in March. Everton even won one of them!

Nick Barmby, in the 1997 Everton kit Nick Barmby, in the 1997 Everton kit  

David Prentice
Captain’s Pride

Steven Pienaar described it as a honour to skipper Everton against Krasnodar last night. Link:

In 1997/98 Everton had FIVE different skippers. Reckon you can name them? Clue. Mitch Ward was the following season! I’ll let you know later

OSC Lille v Everton FC in the UEFA Europa League,at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy,Lille,France. Steven Pienaar on the attack.  

David Prentice
Not Everyone’s Happy

I don’t mind the switch to be fair …..

Nothing says magic of the FA Cup like Everton vs West Ham on a Tuesday night on BT Sport….

— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) December 12, 2014

David Prentice

Will Evertonians see Christian Atsu in an Everton shirt again? He’s set for a scan on a hamstring injury Then could be heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations. He actually looked bright for 11 minutes last night …

Christian Atsu Christian Atsu Hands up if you’re off to Equatorial Guinea …

David Prentice
England Player of the Year?

Leighton Baines is a contender for the FA@s England Player of the Year award? Will he get your vote? Link:

Leighton Baines during a training session Leighton Baines during a training session at St George’s Park, Burton-Upon-Trent today  

David Prentice
FA Cup Date

Everton have had a result with the rescheduling of their FA Cup tie against West Ham. It will (Free £25 bet offer) Kick-off on Tuesday Jan 6 at 7.45pm. A much needed five day break between the trip to Hull and the third round tie

Our FA Cup third round tie at home to West Ham United will take place on 6 January at 7.45pm. #EFC

— Everton (@Everton) December 12, 2014

David Prentice
Welsh Wizards

If you’re at a loose end in Southport tonight Big Nev’s always worth a listen. Kevin Ratcliffe might even get a word in edgeways too

Looking forward to visiting the Atkinson theatre in southport tonight with rats

— Neville Southall (@NevilleSouthall) December 12, 2014

David Prentice
The 500 Club

Everton’s blank last night means that the long-running wait for a 500th different Blues scorer goes on. Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone both went close. Monday maybe? Mo Besic anyone?

Aaaaghh! So now I’ll have to carry on bringing up that 500th different scorer thing before QPR on Monday and into the forseeable future #ffs

— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) December 11, 2014

David Prentice
51st State

In case you were up at night wondering ….

Brilliant spot by @ecwc85 – Kieran Dowell now has the honour of wearing #EFC’s highest ever shirt number (51) in a competitive game!

— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) December 11, 2014

Everton's Kieran Dowell (left) and Krasnodar's Yury Gazinskiy in action Everton’s Kieran Dowell (left) and Krasnodar’s Yury Gazinskiy in action  Numbers game. Kieran Dowell, Everton’s number 51

David Prentice
Blue Peter … On This Day

One from 27 years ago today! Echo columnist Ian Snodin with a VERY rare goal. Past Peter Shilton. From 25 yards!! Shilts was clearly getting on a bit then

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David Prentice
French Dressing

Round-up of last night’s other Europa League action. My personal wish for Monday? Guingamp. Currently 16th in La Ligue, a lovely part of of France, easy to get to … and I have friends in Brittany. C’est la Vie!

Brittany coast 460 Brittany coast 460  Brittany. Bit cool at this time of year though!

David Prentice
Stop moaning Sam!

Big Sam has been moaning about the frantic festive fixture list. Howard Kendall has a simple message for him: get on with it! Read today’s Echo column here

Goodison Park, home ground of Everton football club, covered in snow the day before their match is called off. 7th February 1969.  it will take a stud, ref!

David Prentice

Want something else to read? How about ‘Grievous Censorship’ By The Guardian: Israel, Gaza And The Termination Of Nafeez Ahmed’s Blog

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