Everton Buildup: Martinez Fires the Shutterbug, Jagielka Looking for a Kick and Kone Wants His Name in the Book

The boss shows his players how to take a picture

With only 26-points from 23 games, Everton’s situation heading into this weekend’s Merseyside Derby is far from ideal. With only one win in their last seven Premier League outings, the Toffee’s are hosting a Liverpool side charging up the table, but luckily for them, there’ll be all kind of cliches thrown around in the build-up to Saturday’s match.

The form book, of course, goes out the window when it comes to these matches and boss Roberto Martinez will be more than happy to see it go. Sandwiched in to that winlesss run of matches, his side also crashed out of the FA Cup to West Ham United to give misery some company. Although they’re not quite mired in the relegation fight quite yet, Everton are hovering conspicuously close to the bottom reaches of the table though they’ll be hoping that a deadline day loan move for Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon will fix that — even if he looks a bit bummed to be at Goodison Park.

The 27-year old wasn’t in the mood to smile as the club revealed that he’ll be spending the remainder of the season on Merseyside, but Martinez in his pre-match interview Martinez saw the funny side to some glum looking pictures. “I blame the photographer,” joked the Toffees boss. “It’s your job to make him smile. I’ll change the photographer.”

Funny business aside, the Spaniard did say that the Spurs man could be in line to make his bow this weekend. “Aaron is very focused, ready to train and perform. When you sign a player in January it is very difficult to find someone who is up to speed with his fitness. But he is. He’s an incredible player, he is fully fit, and ready to make an impact and be involved at the weekend – that is very rare with a January signing” he continued. “Will he start the derby? We have to be careful and make sure he knows the way the team plays. But I expect him to be in the squad and he has a massive role to play over the next few weeks, when we have a lot of games.”

Although Liverpool will have a few more matches to play than their Blue counterparts, both Merseyside clubs will feel the strain with European football returning later this month. Having navigated the opening rounds of the Europa League, Everton face a two-legged tie with Swiss side Young Boys later on this month while the Reds, having parachuted into the competition after an early exit from the Champions League, face a tricky home and away with Turkish side Besiktas.

Coming off a narrow win against Crystal Palace, Toffee’s captain Phil Jagielka is hoping to keep the momentum going with a good result at the weekend pushing them on for the rest of the campaign. “No matter how the season is going, when these games come around, if you can pick up a win it spreads a lot of cheer throughout the supporters,” he said. “They’ve not had too much to get excited about in the league this season so we’re desperate to give them as much to cling on to – a victory, a good performance and some sort of result would definitely be that – and hopefully it would kick start us towards the end of the season, climb the league and push on in Europe.”

Beating Liverpool though, as of late anyway, has been no small matter with the Anfield outfit currently enjoying an unbeaten streak that stretches back to the tail end of December. With a number of key players finding form — or, in the case of Daniel Sturridge, returning from injury — the Reds have been steadily climbing the table and will be looking to send Steven Gerrard, who is set to play his final derby of an illustrious career on Saturday, off in style.

The Liverpool born and bred legend has more history in this fixture than can be easily written about, but Everton striker Arouna Kone isn’t looking for a lesson and will instead be looking to make sure his own name is jotted down in the history books. “The fans here just live for the game so much – they don’t sit down and relax for one second. Both sets of supporters are right behind their sides and I’ve experienced this from being in the stands at a couple of these games. Now, having seen it from the stands, it is going to be great to experience it on the field” he said when asked about the opportunity to participate in his first Merseyside derby. “If I was to score, it would provide a great memory and something I would never forget for my entire career. If it turned out to be the winner, it would be fantastic because you would almost go down in history” enthused the Ivorian striker. “It would be a top, top moment.”

Go down in history? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

One thought on “Everton Buildup: Martinez Fires the Shutterbug, Jagielka Looking for a Kick and Kone Wants His Name in the Book

  • February 6, 2015 at 5:44 am

    both hitting form at the right time, exciting game to watch. my prediction, 2-2 draw.

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