Everton will be without defender Leighton Baines for much of the pre-season tour of the Far East after the club revealed that the left back had undergone an ankle surgery.
Roberto Martinez has already stated that Baines has been suffering from an injury to his left ankle for several years. However, he has been unable to correct them due to a consistent run of matches for club and the international team. Baines went under the knife towards the end of last season. This forced him to miss the last two games of the league, while also being unavailable for England duty during the Euro 2016 qualifying game against Slovenia.
It appears that he has still not recovered full fitness in order to be able to train with the team. The performances of the 30-year-old has certainly dropped compared to the figures four or five years ago. However, he continues to still retain an important status in the team. Everton resisted the urge to sell him when Manchester United came calling two years ago. Baines was valued at around £ 20 million by the Merseyside club. Now that he has hit 30 years of age, the valuations are likely to drop. Aside from the absence of the England left back, Martinez will also be without Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson. Read More
When you are going well as a team and getting the results that you desire, all seems good. People talk about the way you play the game together and how the whole group enjoys the success of any individual, but, a few losses and everything can change quickly.
All of a sudden, it starts falling apart for you. Players tend to focus more on personal performances and try and make sure that they don’t come under the scrutiny of the critics.
You can also lose your confidence in each other. Read More
Everton defender Leighton Baines has expressed his delight at the club being able to progress to the next stage of the Europa League with relative ease.
Everton returned to this Premier competition in Roberto Martinez’ first season in charge. They almost qualified for the Champions League after a spectacular run of form towards the end of the season. This season, they may be struggling much more than expected, but Everton’s performances in the Europa League have been impressive nonetheless. From this season onwards, winners of the Europa League will get a place in the next season’s Champions League.
This is a huge bonus and incentive for Everton to try and win the competition, which will feature the likes of Liverpool going into the knockout stages. Everton’s league form may not be consistent, but Baines says that the club are already looking forward to playing in the knockout stages of the European competition. The Merseyside outfit will be coming up against Young Boys of Switzerland. Their opposition have not been doing well in the Swiss league and currently trail leaders FC Basel by a whopping eight points. A big advantage for the Swiss team will be the winter break, which will provide them some much needed time to get the squad together.
“We’ve qualified for Europe and done well thus far.We’re excited to go into next year and do as well as we can in the Europa League. It’s a competition that we have embraced. I’ve got three children and we still have a great time. When you’re sitting around the dinner table and your parents and partner are having drink, you sort of have to draw the line there. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. We come in, train for a few hours on Christmas morning and go back to our families,” said Baines about the Europa league and Christmas schedule in England.