Tag Archive: Everton

(Esta nota fue escrito originariamente en junio 2015)

Finalmente el Everton ha completado el fichaje de Gerard Deulofeu después de semanas de negociación y especulación.

El mediocampista español viene desde Barcelona para €6m en un contrato de tres años. Marca el segundo fichaje de Everton este verano, después de la llegada Tom Cleverley desde Manchester United.

Deulofeu se presenta como jugador de Everton

Deulofeu se presenta como jugador de Everton

Deulofeu pasó una temporada exitosa en el club inglés en 2013-14 pero encontró menos oportunidades en su regreso al Barca eso verano.

El rápido joven, de 21 años se considera muy bien entre los expertos como un extremo promisorio y ahora hay debate entre las hinchas y oficiales de Barca, centrado en el precio bajo de su traspaso al Everton.

El entrenador de los Toffees, Roberto Martinez cree que ahora Deulofeu es un jugador aún más talentoso que el joven que fue cedido al Goodison Park hace dos años.

Añadió que el fichaje de Deulofeu fue uno de sus objetivos más vitales del verano.

Thanks to all the deadline day frenzy involving Marouane Fellaini, James McCarthy et al, Joel Robles’ arrival at Goodison has almost been forgotten already, but the goalkeeper looks to be a shrewd signing by Roberto Martinez. Though first-choice custodian Tim Howard has been a fine servant of the club over the past seven years, as the popular American approaches the end of his career, it’s reassuring to see that Martinez already has a worthy replacement lined up.

Robles entered English football fans’ consciousness in January with an impressive loan spell at Martinez’s Wigan Athletic – so impressive, in fact, that the 23-year-old ousted Ali Al-Habsi (a veteran almost ten years his senior) as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper. However, the Getafe-born shot-stopper is much better known in his home country, having been a part of the Spanish national youth set-up since he was 16.

Joel the giant: the lanky Spaniard feels he’s made for the English game (pic: Premier League)

Joel joined Atletico Madrid’s academy in 2005 and eventually became a regular for the club’s reserve side, but sought a move abroad earlier this year when first-team opportunities remained limited. His time at Wigan was fruitful and culminated in an FA Cup winner’s medal as he helped the Latics surprise Manchester City in the final.

The player cites his physical attributes as key to his success, and at 6ft 5”, it’s easy to see why. Robles believes his huge frame will help him deal with aerial challenges in one of Europe’s more physical leagues. Handed a 5-year deal by his compatriot Martinez, it’s clear Everton see the ‘keeper as a fine prospect and – with the possible exception of McCarthy – Robles is perhaps the summer signing likely to be turning out in royal blue for years to come.

Arguably the biggest challenge for Robles will be to avoid repeating the fate of his back-up predecessor, Jan Mucha, who was consigned to the bench throughout his career at Goodison. The Slovakian was released this summer having made just two league appearances in three years in Merseyside, but Robles looks better equipped to seriously challenge Howard for game time, with the American another year older and Joel already boasting experience in the Premier League.

Indeed, Martinez has described the Spaniard as “someone who is going to give us great protection and fight with Tim Howard – and push him all the way.” For that level of competition, the £650,000 Martinez paid Atletico Madrid seems a bargain. Joel concurs: “It is a great honour to work with Tim – he’s a great, great goalkeeper and I am looking forward to learning a lot from him.”

Bergara’s presence should allow Robles to settle quickly (pic: ceroacero.es)

The player has also been quick to emphasize the importance of being reunited with Wigan goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara, who also worked under Martinez at Swansea and followed him from the DW Stadium this summer. “I am delighted to be back working with Inaki again – he is a great professional and a really nice guy,” says Joel. The feeling is clearly mutual – Bergara has already professed his belief that Robles “has lots of potential” – and this relationship could prove pivotal to Joel’s success at Everton.

Howard may have seen off many a back-up over the years, but it looks like Robles could finally be the worthy replacement the club have been searching for. With bundles of talent and a long career ahead of him, don’t be surprised if Joel is one of the first names on the Everton team-sheet in a few years’ time.

TOTTENHAM Hotspur’s Clint Dempsey is set to make a surprise return to the United States after the club announced they had reached an agreement with MLS outfit the Seattle Sounders. Dempsey, 30, has been playing in England since joining Fulham in 2006, but only moved to Tottenham last summer.

After playing youth football in his native Texas, Dempsey started his senior career with the New England Revolution and was near-ever present in his first season in the MLS in 2004. He spent two further years at the club, posting a record of better than a goal every three games in both seasons, before being signed by Fulham for £2 million – making Dempsey the US’ most expensive export to England.

Dempsey made a name for himself during five years at Fulham (pic: mirror.co.uk)

At Fulham, the midfielder enjoyed the best years of his career, somehow managing to improve every season and earning praise for his versatility and all-action style. Fittingly, his best performances in a black-and-white shirt came in his final campaign at Craven Cottage in 2011-12, when he netted 17 times in the league and 23 in all competitions.

Having established himself as one of the Premier League’s best goalscoring midfielders, Dempsey earned a £6 million move to Tottenham in the summer of 2012. Once more, the transfer shattered records in his homeland, making the Texan the US’ highest-paid footballer of all time. Despite relative success in his first season at White Hart Lane, Dempsey’s place in the side’s starting line-up – he had mainly been employed as a second striker by Andre Villas-Boas – was put into doubt by Spurs’ acquisition of Valencia forward Roberto Soldado.

Looking for guaranteed playing time, and perhaps missing the US after so long away, Dempsey appeared to entertain the notion of returning to the MLS. Earlier this week, rumours on Twitter claimed the US national team captain had been spotted in San Francisco, waiting to board a plane to Seattle, and some overly-enthusiastic Sounders fans even waited for his arrival at the airport in Washington.

However, Dempsey never arrived, which, combined with Sounders forward Eddie Johnson dismissing suggestions Clint would sign with the club, sparked a media frenzy as the US tried to second-guess where Dempsey would appear next. The attention he was afforded – rarely seen in America for footballers – demonstrated Dempsey’s stature in the US, but MLS fans were devastated to hear rumours that he was, in fact, flying out to Los Angeles to join up with Everton’s pre-season tour.

“What do you mean there’s no place for me?” Dempsey has left Spurs for regular game time (Pic: bettor.com)

But the speculation turned full circle when ESPN claimed the Sounders were on the verge of completing the player’s signature, and that was confirmed this afternoon when Spurs issued a statement on their website announcing that Dempsey would “return to MLS.” The BBC say the Sounders will match the £6 million Spurs shelled out for Dempsey a year ago, while several media outlets suggest the midfielder will become the MLS’ highest paid player at $5 million per year, overtaking his fellow ex-Premier League attackers Robbie Keane and Thierry Henry ($4 million and $3.75 million per year respectively).

Dempsey’s much-heralded arrival will provide a welcome boost to the Sounders’ attacking roster – the club are currently languishing in seventh position in the nine-team Western Conference, four points adrift of the play-offs.

Everton attacker Tim Cahill looks set to join Major League Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls after the Goodison Park club announced a deal had been agreed between the two sides. The Australian international spent 8 years at Everton, racking up over 270 appearances.

Cahill began his career at hometown club Sydney United, moving to English side Millwall on a free transfer in 1998. He soon established himself as a regular in the The Lions’ starting line-up, playing 36 times in the league in his second season at the Den. Cahill went on to reach double figures in four of his seven seasons at the club from central midfield, and scoring the winner in a FA Cup semi-final tie against Sunderland – a victory that put Millwall into the Cup final and the following season’s UEFA Cup.

Fox in the Box: Cahill in typical pose

Having narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League the previous season, Everton boss David Moyes shelled out £1.5 million for Cahill’s services in a bid to climb up the table in 2004-05. It certainly worked – moved into a more attacking role, Cahill was Everton’s top scorer with 11 goals as the side finished in a hugely impressive fourth place.

Scoring a brilliant headed winner against Manchester City in one of his first appearances for Everton set the tone for a largely successful stay at Goodison Park which saw Cahill become a huge fans’ favourite. He scored in three of Everton’s last 5 games of the 2004-05 campaign – his final goal of the season, against Newcastle in the Blues’ penultimate game, sealed Champions League qualification.

The 32-year-old’s departure severs another link to that 2004-05 squad, who’s success Everton have failed to emulate in recent years: there are now just two players – local lads Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman – who were part of the Champions League side.

Although he stands at a modest 5 feet, 10 inches tall (hence the affectionate nickname “Tiny Tim”), Cahill’s impressive aerial ability allowed him to outjump many taller defenders. Thumping headed goals – followed by his trademark boxing celebration – became a regular sight at Goodison Park during Cahill’s eight-year stint at Everton.

One of the club’s most consistent players in recent seasons, Cahill suffered a rare blip in form during the 2011-12 campaign, netting just three times and enduring a goal drought that lasted throughout the whole of 2011. As former Everton defender David Unsworth noted: “Tim’s been a fantastic servant for Everton – a bargain buy. He’s scored many goals but his form has just waned a little bit.”

Recent months have seen Cahill linked with big-money moves to China and the United Arab Emirates, but, having ruled out moves to both countries, the former Ballon d’Or nominee found the chance to join New York Red Bulls too good to turn down. Though the American giants have yet to confirm the deal, a statement released on Everton’s official website last night read: “Everton have agreed with Major League Soccer that Tim Cahill can be transferred to the New York Red Bulls. Tim, 32, will move to the Red Bulls for a nominal fee, subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical. He will travel to the US in the next few days.”

That fee is believed to be in the region of £1 million, representing a decent return on Everton’s original investment, but many supporters feel Cahill’s success over the years should have warranted a larger sum. Tim will join fellow ex-Premier League players Teemu Tainio and Thierry Henry – captain of the Red Bulls – at the Eastern Conference table-toppers, but is the only Asian member of club’s squad.

Current Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard enjoyed a 5-year spell at the side, then known as the New York/New Jersey Metrostars, between 1998 and 2003.

Image: http://www.thesun.co.uk

Everton have confirmed the departure of young Portuguese striker João Silva  to Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia on a 3-year deal. The move comes following two years at Goodison Park in which the 22-year-old failed to make any appearances for Everton.

Having joined the Toffees in 2010 from Portuguese second-tier club CD Aves, Silva was hailed as a “starlet” and compared to Pauleta, the country’s all-time scorer at international level. Inevitably, young Silva struggled to displace regular first-team forwards Louis Saha, Tim Cahill and Jermaine Beckford, and soon returned to his homeland with a loan move to UD Leiria.

Silva’s Everton career never took off

Back in Portugal, Silva looked more comfortable, averaging a goal every three games for Leiria and netting twice against national giants Benfica in a 3-3 draw on the last day of the 2010-11 season. The following summer he joined Vitória de Setúbal, scoring 3 goals in 16 league appearances before being recalled by Everton in January.

However, Silva still failed to make the breakthrough at Goodison, scoring two goals in six starts for the reserve team, and few fans will be surprised to see the Portugal under-21 international offloaded in a transfer that probably benefits both parties. What may have come as a surprise, though, is Silva’s move to Bulgaria, rather than back to his homeland, where his talents have already been proven.

Silva will join compatriots Nino Pinto, a defender, and fellow forward Cristovão Ramos at Levski Sofia, who finished third in last season’s Bulgarian PFG. João follows fellow reserve-team players Adam Forshaw, James Wallace, James McFadden and Marcus Hahnemann out of the exit door at Goodison, with Rangers forward Steven Naismith currently Moyes’ only summer signing.

Image: http://onossofuteb0l.blogspot.co.uk


Ivorian midfielder Jean-Jacques Gosso has expressed his delight at being linked with Premier League club Everton in recent days. Gosso, currently playing for Turkish side Orduspor, has yet to play in England and has spent most of his career outside of Europe.

Beginning his senior career in his homeland in 2002 with Stella Club d’Adjamé, Gosso moved to Morrocan club Wydad Casablanca the following year. Interest from several Israeli sides followed, with Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Ashdod both inviting the midfielder to discuss terms with them. He signed for the latter club in 2008, ironically making his league debut against Maccabi.

A successful trial in June 2008 at French side Moncaco, then of Ligue 1, Gosso spent three years in France, leaving after Les Rouge et Blanc’s relegation to the second tier in 2011. Turkish outfit Orduspor have boasted the Ivorian international’s talents since, the 29-year-old playing 24 of the club’s 34 Super Lig fixtures last season.

Gosso’s international experience makes up for his lack of European football

After hearing of Everton’s interest, Gosso admitted: “I am very interested if there is an option for me in England. My dream has always been to play in the Premier League and prove myself against midfielders and strikers at the top level”. Gosso described Everton, who finished seventh in the Premier League in 2011-12, as “a fantastic team…one of the biggest club in England.”

Predominantly a holding midfielder, but having also represented Ivory Coast at right-back, Gosso provides vital versatility that could aid Everton’s small transfer budget by allowing Blues boss David Moyes to provide cover for two positions in his squad in one fell swoop.

Gosso also believes his playing style would suit the Everton sides that Moyes has built: “I know David Moyes likes players who put a shift in, so if he is interested in me – like I am hearing – that means I must be doing something right.”

Although the Liverpool Echo have reported that Everton have yet to make a formal approach for Gosso, a move would suit both player and club. The Ivorian would provide cover for, or replace, first-choice defensive midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park, while he could also act as back-up to long-serving right-backs Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert.

Image: http://www.mtnfootball.com

Everton have completed the signing of Rangers forward Steven Naismith on a free transfer, with the Scot becoming the club’s first signing this summer.

The 25-year-old was one of a number of Gers players looking to leave the Glasweigan giants following the club’s extensive financial problems, which has led to an attempt to transfer all player contracts to Charles Green’s newco. Naismith’s transfer – coming just days after fellow forward Kyle Lafferty’s departure to Swiss side FC Sion – became inevitable, with several Premier League teams keen to secure his services.

As well as Everton’s interest, fellow top-flight sides Stoke City, West Ham United and Wigan Athletic are believed to have made contact with the former Kilmarnock forward, but Everton’s Scottish contingent, combined with having finished in the highest league position of the four clubs in 2011-12, is thought to have clinched the deal for the Toffees.

Everton fans will hope Naismith’s previous partnership with Jelavic will benefit their club

Manager David Moyes, a former Celtic and Dunfermline player himself, inherited a squad containing a number of Scottish players upon taking charge at Goodison in 2002, including Duncan Ferguson, David Weir, Gary Naysmith and Scott Gemmill. The club’s backroom staff also has a distinctly Scottish feel to it, with Moyes’ first-team coach Jimmy Lumsden, academy manager Alan Irvine and reserve team player-coach David Weir all hailing from north of the border.

Naismith with also link up with former Rangers team-mate Nikica Jelavic, who has made a terrific start to his Everton career: the Croat has netted 9 times in just 13 league games since joining in January, and Blues’ fans will be hoping the pair can rekindle their goalscoring partnership developed at Ibrox.

With Scottish international Naismith – who has played for his country from the age of 19 – being ruled out for much of the season due after damaging cruciate knee ligaments against Aberdeen in October, Everton unsurprisingly ran a series of thorough medicals before completing the deal.

Manager Moyes was clearly happy to have got his man, calling Naismith “an established international who can play in a number of positions. He has a flexibility we always like in our players and which will hopefully prove to be very useful for us.” Although primarily a forward, Naismith can also play behind the main striker or on the wing, a versatility likely to be key in Everton’s traditionally small squads.

The player himself was also pleased to have escaped Rangers’ nightmare preparations for the 2012-13 season – including just 13 players turning up for pre-season training – and to have joined a Premier League club. He told Everton’s website: “It is a great honour to be joining a club of Everton’s wonderful history and to have the chance to play with such a talented group of players in the world’s best league: the Barclays Premier League, in front of such a passionate group of fans”.

With Jelavic playing up front on his own for many of his games for the club, it remains to be seen whether Naismith will be thrust straight into Everton’s starting XI or used as an impact substitute as opposition defenders begin to tire, with his pace being used to get in behind defences or threaten from the wing.

Everton fans will also be hoping to secure the signature of popular playmaker Steven Pienaar, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at the club last season. Although contracted to Tottenham Hotspur, the Toffees will hope the London club’s new manager Andre Villas-Boas will be willing to allow the South African captain to rejoin Everton on a season-long loan for 2012-13.

Image: http://www.zimbio.com

Everton will host Champions League-chasing Newcastle United this Sunday with the visitors knowing that they need a least a draw to give themselves a chance of playing in Europe’s premier competition next season. What many fail to realise is that this fixture is almost an exact reversal of the same game at Goodison Park in the 2004-05 season.

On 7 May 2005 the Toffees welcomed Newcastle to Goodison hoping for a win that would go a long way to cementing the Blues’ grip on fourth place following a season of unprecedented success. Everton had sold young forward Wayne Rooney to Manchester United at the start of the season (haven’t heard of him since!) and after a 17th-placed finish in 2003-04, were widely tipped for a relegation battle the following season.

Ba and Cisse have formed a formidable partnership in their maiden season at the club (Image: The Telegraph)

This bears a striking resemblance to Newcastle’s shock surge to the summit in 2011-12. Only promoted from the Championship two years ago, the Magpies had settled comfortably back into life in top tier with a 12th-placed finish last season. Powered by the goals of new signings Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse – read Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent for Everton seven years ago – Newcastle have defied the odds to achieve remarkable success and will certainly be playing European football in some form next season.

The Blues will enter tomorrow’s game with little to play for on paper: David Moyes’ men have enjoyed a superb 2012 so far, but are mathematically unable to catch sixth-placed Chelsea and are only playing for the pride that comes with finishing above Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Everton’s nerve-free position ahead of tomorrow’s game mirrors Newcastle’s attitude on that day in 2005 – United were a mid-table side and would eventually finish in 14th.

Despite that lowly league placing, Newcastle still entered Europe via the Intertoto Cup in 2004-05, something Everton could emulate this year by qualifying for the Europa League due to the Cup successes of the teams above them, which could open up a bonus European slot.

David Weir heads Everton towards the Champions League in 2005’s edition of this fixture (Image: Everton FC)

Almost seven years ago to the day, Everton went on to beat Newcastle 2-0 in their last home game of the season thanks to goals from David Weir and Tim Cahill, not to mention Magpies forward Shola Ameobi’s red card early in the second half. Ironically, Ameobi, along with veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper is the only survivor of that squad still at the club, while Tony Hibbert, Cahill and James McFadden could all feature against the Magpies again on Sunday.

It should prove to be an entertaining contest between two in-form teams on the season’s last day. Newcastle will be desperate to avoid history repeating itself  – their future depends on it.

The first Merseyside Derby at Wembley since 1989 was always going to be a close affair. Everton entered the game as the form side, having thrashed Sunderland 4-0 at Goodison in their most recent league fixture, but, as many claimed, form counts for nothing in a derby match. Despite the Blues sitting  a point above their rivals in the Premier League, Liverpool had won both league meetings between the two. This game was impossible to call.

A packed Wembley generated a fantastic atmosphere for the season's third Merseyside derby

Each manager made a noteworthy omission from their starting line-ups: Everton’s Dutch winger Royston Drenthe failed to even make the bench amid rumours of late-night drinking the day before, while Anfield supremo Kenny Dalglish preferred Daniel Agger, more comfortable in the middle of the defence, at full-back instead of first-choice left-back Jose Enrique.

After a respectful one-minute silence to mark the 23rd anniversary of Hillsborough, the referee’s whistle was greeted with a cacophony of noise from both sets of fans. The action was end-to-end from the start – Leighton Baines curled a free-kick narrowly over before Martin Skrtel fired straight at Howard following a corner. The teams were doing a good job of cancelling each other out, making for compelling viewing.

Despite this, clear chances were few and far between, and it was a surprise when Everton took the lead after 24 minutes. After hesitation between Liverpool defenders Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher, the latter’s low clearance rebounded off Tim Cahill and into the grateful path of in-form striker Nikica Jelavic. With the rest of Liverpool’s defence having turned their backs on the ball, expecting Carragher’s clearance to sail over their heads, Jelavic found himself one-on-one with Brad Jones. The Croat kept his nerve to slide the ball past the onrushing Aussie with a cool finish.

Nikica Jelavic celebrates his opener in front of the Liverpool end

Predictably, the goal caused pandemonium in the Everton end as the Toffees dreamt of an improbable run to the final. As if the defensive mishap leading to the goal wasn’t galling enough for Liverpool fans, the sight of Jelavic wheeling away in delight in front of the massed ranks of red must have hurt.

As Liverpool battled for an equaliser, the full-blooded challenges that began to rain in were inevitable in a derby of such importance to both teams. However, it was more than slightly ironic that, with local players Carragher, Gerrard, Baines and Osman all involved,  the most hotly-contested one-on-one battle in this Merseyside matchup was between a Uruguayan and a  Dutchman. Messrs Suarez and Heitinga took it in turns to bundle each other to the floor, each becoming increasingly incensed at the other’s perceived exaggeration of contact.

Thankfully, a combination of Howard Webb ignoring both of them and a word in the ear from their captains calmed the pair down. The remainder of the first half failed to produce such excitement, as Everton saw out the closing minutes of the opening 45 to protect their narrow lead until the interval.

The second half was always going to be more nerve-racking for the Everton fans, as Liverpool committed more men forward in their search for an equalizer. Just two minutes after the break they almost had it. Stewart Downing, whose mazy runs had looked threatening in the first half but often lacked a final product, whipped a deep cross to the back post where Andy Carroll headed wide despite being unmarked.

It was a wake-up call for Everton, and one that they took on board. The next fifteen minutes passed without incident as Liverpool struggled to break down a deep, determined defence. Everton weren’t creating chances, but as long as they kept Liverpool at bay, it didn’t matter.

Then, on 62 minutes, disaster struck for the Blues. Distin, a defensive rock all season, buckled under pressure from Suarez and gifted the Uruguayan a clear run at goal with a woefully under-hit back-pass. Despite Heitinga’s admirable effort to recover the situation, Suarez was already dispatching the ball beyond Tim Howard as the Dutchman desperately tried to slide in. Distin was clearly upset by his error, cruelly the first time he has put a foot wrong this season. His apology on Twitter hours later summed up his guilt: “I cost my team mates, the staff, the club and the fans a place in [the] FA Cup final. Nothing more to say but sorry all of you”. The big Frenchman bravely accepted responsibility for his side’s eventual defeat, despite his mistake only leading to Liverpool’s leveller.

With the game now finely poised at one apiece, Everton manager David Moyes had a tactical dilemna – push men forward in hope of retaking the lead, or hold on for extra-time against a Liverpool team growing in confidence and with the momentum now behind them?

The Scot seemingly chose the latter as his men remained firmly behind the ball, leaving goalscorer Jelavic an isolated figure. The introduction of Seamus Coleman for Distin’s tiring compatriot Magaye Gueye provided fresh legs, but the new man was forced into defensive duty almost immediately. His booking soon afterwards, for a challenge on the edge of the Everton area as his team-mates failed to clear, put the Irishman on a tightrope.

Liverpool continued to dominate with little reward, and as both sets of fans and players braced themselves for the prolonged agony of extra-time and penalties, Coleman upended Gerrard on the left. It was a clumsy tackle that was lucky to avoid a red card less than 20 minutes after the Everton winger’s arrival.

Liverpool's goalscorers - Suarez and Carroll - celebrate what would prove to be the winner

However, the cheap free-kick would prove to be vital in the outcome of the match. Substitute Craig Bellamy crossed, and for the first time in the match, Carroll hit the target with a back-header after outjumping Fellaini. The flick passed between Howard and Baines, stationed on the far post, and into the net. With just three minutes of normal time remaining, it was surely the winner. Carroll’s previous efforts in the game had brought little reward, causing even some Everton fans to feel sorry for the perpetually-misfiring £35 million misfit.

His previous lack of composure in front of goal was immediately forgotten as the Reds celebrated a new hero who had fired them to a second Cup final of the season. Despite Everton’s best attempts to push forward, with Moyes replacing defender Baines with frontman Victor Anichebe, Liverpool successfully wound down the clock.  They even went close to extending their lead, with Maxi Rodriguez, another substitute, hitting the post from close-range under heavy pressure.

The final whistle was met with jubilation by the scarf-branishing Kop, transplanted from Anfield, and their victorious players. Everton’s team crumpled to the turf, hurt by the realization that for some of them, this was the last chance for silverware before retirement. Captain Phil Neville is 35, Distin 34, Tim Cahill and Tim Howard both the wrong side of 30 – they may not experience another Wembley semi-final. The defeat will inevitably inspire pundits to debate whether or not David Moyes has taken the club as far as he can. The truth is that only the former Preston boss himself knows the answer.

Everton: Howard, Neville (C), Heitinga, Distin, Baines (Anichebe 88), Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Gueye (Coleman 68), Cahill, Jelavic. Subs not used: Hahnemann, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stracqualursi, McFadden.

Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Henderson (Rodriguez 75), Gerrard, Spearing, Downing (Bellamy 84), Carroll, Suarez. Subs not used: Gulasci, Enrique, Kelly, Shelvey, Kuyt.

Attendance: 87, 231.