The 17th October will always be a date in the hearts of the Goodison Park faithful, for this time in 2015, club legend Howard Kendall sadly passed away.
Born in Ryton, County Durham, Kendall made 233 league appearances for the Toffees over two spells, between 1967 and 1977, and then briefly returned to the club in 1981 where he called time on his playing career. He has also managed the Merseyside club on three occasions, between 1981 and 1987, 1990 to 1993 and finally from 1997-1998.
As a player with the Toffees, he helped the Goodison Park club win the Football League First Division in 1969–70, featured in the club’s FA Charity Shield winning team of 1970 and played in the side that finished FA Cup runners-up in 1967–68.
He would go on to achieve more glory as Toffees boss adding two more Football League First Division titles (1984–85, 1986–87), an FA Cup (1983–84), three consecutive FA Charity Shields (1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87) and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1984–85) to his glittering CV.
The Everton legend sadly passed away in Southport this time one year ago at the age of 69, and tributes have been pouring in for the former Toffee, including from his former team-mate, another member along with Kendall of what was dubbed Everton’s “Holy Trinity”, Colin Harvey.
“I still think about him every day”, Harvey told Everton’s Official Twitter.
“I miss him because he had a wonderful way with people, he really knew how to greet. He was a man of the people and he really enjoyed being with people”.
Aside from the moving tributes to a club legend, the blue half of Merseyside is very much still coming around from the monumental result they managed to achieve at the Etihad on Saturday, a superb individual performance from Maarten Stekelenburg preserving a point for Everton, and almost helped them escape with all three. Everton’s goalscorer on the day was Romelu Lukaku, who at the tender age of 23 has already netted on 125 occasions, a record superior to that of Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Of course Stekelenburg’s heroics were the pick of the bunch, but Lukaku’s mazy run and finish had of course put Everton in the driving seat, and the goalscorer on the day offered the Liverpool Echo a fascinating insight of what went on in the dressing room after a difficult first-half.
“When you’re under pressure like that against the best team in the League at the moment you have to be tough mentally and defend well. Be as a team”, the 23-year-old said.
Lukaku admitted that after his solo effort in the 64th minute he felt that they could have gone on to win the game, but in the end a point was a satisfying result.
“When we got the lead I thought if we could get the second it’d be a totally different game,” he said.
“But you have to be focused and we lacked a bit of focus when they scored. After that we defended well for the rest of the game.”
“That’s what told each other at half time – we had to encourage each other and be positive. We had to be patient, defend well and try to take our chances.”
The Belgium international also had a comment to make on his manager’s switching of tactics, after Ronald Koeman’s initial decision to start in a 4-3-3 formation failed to press City’s defence as planned.
“In the first half we tried three up front for the first 20 minutes and it didn’t work out,” he added. “Then when we played two up front and a diamond in midfield we were good on the counter attack”.
“But I think we have to be lucky with one point. City were good – they have top quality players. We have to be happy with the draw and keep going.”
The one potentially bad bit of news for Everton supporters centres around a recurring transfer rumour, and it is once more regarding their right-back star Seamus Coleman, the Irish Independent‘s reckoning being that José Mourinho has identified the Irishman as a potential solution to the right-back conundrum at Manchester United.
The Red Devils have been known to have courted Coleman as far back as 2013 when former Everton boss David Moyes was manager, and Special One Mourinho revived that interest over the summer, and considered Coleman a target, though other areas of the team needed to be prioritised first.
Given that United spent £150m in that window, including breaking the world transfer record for Paul Pogba, Mourinho decided to persist with the full-backs currently available, that is to say Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian, at least until January.
Antonio Valencia has been the regular in the role, which has proven somewhat hit-and-miss, and the Portuguese manager is not believed to rank Darmian amongst his favourites, with the Italian likely to be on his way out in January.
28-year-old Coleman is believed to fit the profile of the player Mourinho wishes to recruit, though there may be a saving grace for Evertonians, the article believes Coleman is Mourinho’s second choice for the position behind AS Monaco’s Brazilian full-back Fabinho. Coleman is under contract at Goodison until 2019, which would command a fee of over £25million if United do make a move.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Ian Johnson.