Tag Archives: Everton

14-year-old Everton fan became football’s first “remote” mascot

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Jack McLinden, 14, became part of football history as he served as a “remote” matchday mascot for the Premier League game against Newcastle United with the aid of a robot.

McLinden has multiple health conditions and severely reduced mobility but was able to experience joining his heroes on the pitch thanks to the AV1 telepresence robot.

Everton captain, Phil Jagielka, carried the unit onto the pitch Jack enjoying the occasion in real-time from his home via a camera, microphone and speaker linked to his tablet and by also interacting with the players in the tunnel.

The Norwegian company, No Isolation, designed AV1 to help children with long-term illness and to attend school from home and, partnered with the UK charity, WellChild, to give the Merseyside teenager an unforgettable Goodison Park experience.

Everton’s head of engagement, Scott McLeod, said: “The most important thing for everybody at the club is that we have had the opportunity, through this amazing technology and the work with No Isolation and WellChild, to do something incredible for an inspirational young Evertonian.”

“We are thrilled to have had the chance to do this for Jack and we hope it has provided him with a memory he will always treasure.”

His mother, Michelle Wignall, added: “We are thrilled that through No Isolation and Everton Football Club Jack is able to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Everton won against Newcastle by 1-0 thanks to Theo Walcott’s goal, and Jack also got a bird’s-eye view of manager Sam Allardyce’s news conference.

“Sam carried the robot in for his press conference and it was just lovely of him,” said Michelle. “He introduced him and at the end he thanked Jack for the 1-0 win as if it was down to Jack.”

Ronald Koeman appointed as new Netherlands manager until 2022

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Former Everton and Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has been appointed as the new Netherlands national team coach up until 2022.

Koeman will take charge of the national squad against England on 23 March as the country hopes to compete at the Qatar World Cup having failed to qualify for Russia 2018.

A statement by the Dutch FA on Tuesday read: “The KNVB has reached an agreement with Ronald Koeman over his appointment as the Dutch national team coach. Koeman has just signed a contract that ties him to Oranje with immediate effect up to and including the 2022 World Cup.”

Koeman, who has been out of work since being sacked at Goodison Park in October, succeeds Dick Advocaat, who stepped down last year after failing to lead the Netherlands to the World Cup in Russia this year.

“I’m really positive about the future of the team,” Koeman said in a press conference. “We have enough talent but we have to change some things, which I will talk about at a later stage.”

“I think the Netherlands should and must be qualifying for major finals and I see a bright future in that regard. That’s why I’ve taken the job.”

This will be 54-year-old Koeman’s 10th managerial post after spells in charge of Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton and Everton, where he was sacked in October after guiding them to seventh in his only full season in charge.

However, his status as a Dutch legend himself could help his tenure after winning 78 caps and won the European Championship in 1988 as a player for the team.

He also saw success in the Premier League as he led Southampton to finishes at sixth and seventh in the Premier League in his two years in charge at St Mary’s.

Watford: Javi Gracia appointed manager after Marco Silva

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Watford have sacked their manager Marco Silva following the club’s 2-0 defeat against Leicester on Saturday, with his replacement Javi Gracia appointed just hours after.

The Watford board of directors cited the “unwarranted approach” from Everton last year as “the catalyst” for the decision to sack Silva, after the Portuguese became a target for Everton when they were seeking a replacement for Ronald Koeman.

Despite an excellent start at Watford, a run of one win — after the aforementioned approach — in 11 matches has now cost Silva his job.

“This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly,” read a club statement. “The club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.”

“The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford has been jeopardised. For the security and success of the football club, the board believes it has to make a change.”

Stepping into his shoes is Spaniard Javi Gracia, who signed an 18-month contract at Vicarage Road after being out of a job when he left Russian club Rubin Kazan last June.

Gracia, 47, who will be the 10th manager to work for Watford under the Pozzo family since 2012, says restoring confidence to the squad will be one of his first tasks.

“The team has played some good matches this season and I think they can do it again,” he told the club website. “It’s not easy arriving in the middle of the season, but you must be ready and I am grateful and have plenty of energy to win the rest of the matches. It is a big challenge, but it is also a dream.”

Gracia will also be the eighth Premier League manager to lose his job this season, following changes at Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City, Stoke, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham.

Chelsea signs Everton midfielder Ross Barkley for £15m

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Everton midfielder Ross Barkley signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Chelsea that would cost the defending Premier League champions £15m.

Barkley, 24, leaves Everton after 13 years at Goodison Park and having not played for seven months because of a hamstring injury and had surgery in August. He joined Everton’s academy as an 11-year-old in 2005 and played 150 times in the Premier League, scoring 21 goals as well as securing 22 caps for England.

The player previously turned down a £30m move to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in August despite rejecting a new deal at Everton. With his Goodison contract expiring in the summer, he has now moved for £15m less.

With the Blues, Barkley will wear the number eight shirt at Chelsea — previously assigned to Frank Lampard and Oscar.

“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started. To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea – it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes that Barkley is a “complete player” and hopes the midfielder can fulfil his potential at Stamford Bridge especially with his additional advantage of understanding the English footballing landscape.

“We are talking about a player with great potential,” Conte said. “He is a complete player but, at the same time, he is very young. He is complete because he has it all. He has stamina, he is strong physically and he has good technique. He is fast. He is a modern footballer.”

“An English player understands very well this league because you grow [up] in this league. For Chelsea, also, it is positive to buy English players because we lost important players like John Terry and Frank Lampard.”