Everton's first-team squad has flown to Dubai today for a five-day warm-weather training camp, taking advantage of the week off due to other clubs' participation in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The party includes Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mateusz Hewelt, Jonjoe Kenny and Matty Pennington while Muhamed Besic has also travelled to continue his rehabilitation from a ruptured ACL.
After the sleet and rain-lashed goalless draw at Middlesbrough, Ronald Koeman was looking forward to getting the team away for a few days to train in what he hopes will be better conditions.
“We go to Dubai,” the manager said after Saturday's draw at The Riverside, “but I saw the weather forecast and I hope it's not the same as today!
"It's good. We have some new faces in the squad and we need to recover. It's not a holiday. We do really good training sessions in better conditions and we stay together from Monday until Saturday.
“Then we have one week to prepare for Sunderland.
“We will train every day and play a friendly on Friday. It's a chance to stay together, have good communication and keep up the momentum of the season. It's all about aiming to finish strongly in the league.”
Romelu Lukaku hasn't joined his team-mates in Dubai, due to a calf-strain; instead, he has headed off to Belgium to seek medical attention. Everton's leading goalscorer is expected to be fit for Everton's next match against Sunderland at Goodison Park on the 25th February.
Reader Comments (97)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 13/02/2017 at 17:51:53
2 Posted 13/02/2017 at 17:57:28
3 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:02:36
4 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:03:05
It's a bloody disgrace and just shows how disconnected these arseholes are with ordinary supporters. I'd make them do double sessions every day including weekends on Formby beach.
5 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:08:49
No supper and no TV for a week.
6 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:14:33
7 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:18:13
As long as they get 3 points against Sunderland, I don't care where they go to train/tan.
8 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:34:26
I'm sure we've done it before and can't remember an uplift in our fortunes afterwards, I might be imagining things but from memory it was the opposite. Wouldn't logic say that you would train in cold weather conditions if you were going to play in cold weather conditions though? Why not a few days inside the Arctic Circle...? ;-)
But, maybe it's not the jolly it seems to be from the outside and if it sprinkles some extra team spirit magic dust onto the squad then so be it. Enjoy the sun, lads... I'll go and put another log on the fire.
9 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:38:50
Dear God. Defies belief.
10 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:42:43
11 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:52:16
12 Posted 13/02/2017 at 18:53:36
13 Posted 13/02/2017 at 19:00:45
After all, not like Mori (or any other member of the squad) could possibly have missed Koeman's warning shot that "It's about keeping our momentum and finishing the season strongly, not taking a holiday", is it?:
14 Posted 13/02/2017 at 19:47:40
Bonding, feel good factor, camaraderie, relaxation who doesn't feel better ready to fire on all cylinders after a break!
Half of them happy to get away from the stress of families! Leave them be and let's see how we get on against Sunderland if I was Koeman, however, I'd give them a punishment for anything less than 3 points double training every day for 2 weeks.
16 Posted 13/02/2017 at 19:51:33
17 Posted 13/02/2017 at 20:35:28
18 Posted 13/02/2017 at 20:41:26
19 Posted 13/02/2017 at 20:48:30
20 Posted 13/02/2017 at 21:01:17
...barefoot, towing a bag of sand, under musket fire. Last one across to be eaten raw by the rest, no other food. They don't know they're born.
21 Posted 13/02/2017 at 21:24:18
Ah yes, of course... I'm not someone who gets a lot of dosh for kicking a ball better than some others.
22 Posted 13/02/2017 at 21:40:41
We shouldn't mollycoddle them. I don't think we've ever come back from one of these "honest it's not really a holiday" and actually done well in following games.
Regardless they should be flogged.
23 Posted 13/02/2017 at 22:24:14
24 Posted 13/02/2017 at 22:31:31
Interesting to read that Moyes has taken his team to chilly NY. His logic was that its colder in the US, so players would feel the benefit on their return. Let's see who wins when we play them!
25 Posted 13/02/2017 at 23:57:25
26 Posted 14/02/2017 at 01:05:59
27 Posted 14/02/2017 at 03:37:49
Good luck to them, hope they have a great time come back fitter.
28 Posted 14/02/2017 at 03:48:06
29 Posted 14/02/2017 at 05:56:16
30 Posted 14/02/2017 at 07:21:35
31 Posted 14/02/2017 at 07:54:37
32 Posted 14/02/2017 at 08:22:21
33 Posted 14/02/2017 at 08:35:49
34 Posted 14/02/2017 at 09:12:32
35 Posted 14/02/2017 at 09:29:24
Don't know if you have ever been to Dubai, Soren, but if the next 5 days is meant to be cloudy every day, then the squad will be made up with that. I've been to Dubai when the temperature has been in the mid-50s and trust me, it's unbearable.
Even this next 5 days, the temperature is in the high 20s, temperatures okay for training in, but not what they would be used to playing a full 90 minutes game in.
You seem to me like the kind of person who would complain to your travel agent that your holiday was spoilt because the weather was cloudy every day.
Your comment was pathetic!!
36 Posted 14/02/2017 at 09:55:03
I think this negativity is the top of a slippery slope. Next you will be saying bankers and traders should not get their bonuses. Where will it end? Imagine a world where other "entertainers" like Little Mix or worse, a Kardashian did not have more money than they need.
In the end, all the excess is down to us. We buy the "products" and given them our money. Sadly as private companies they can do what the hell they like with it and we will still buy the product.
37 Posted 14/02/2017 at 09:55:58
Calvert-Lewin and Mo Besic hope to get game time in Everton's friendly on Friday in their step up to get back into the first team.
38 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:13:32
Hardly warranted being called pathetic..
39 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:14:49
You'd think that if it was just a tight calf, Rom could still go on the jolly and get his deep heat massages while the rest of the lads were on a bike ride!!
Call me paranoid, but I can just see Rom and Raiola sat in a spa in a top Paris hotel with the sheikh who owns PSG, sorting out a deal for the summer!
40 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:21:10
Fishy or what?
41 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:27:30
Dead suspicious. Footballer has calf injury. Do they think we are stupid?
42 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:43:11
43 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:48:01
44 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:49:50
45 Posted 14/02/2017 at 10:54:45
Got to say I'm a bit surprised about Walsh. I believed him to be in front of Davies, at one stage. I know he's had some niggly injuries, also we are overloaded in the position he plays in at the moment. Hopefully his time will come.
47 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:08:36
48 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:14:23
Hopefully they come back ready to kick on like it's not that they have been terrible lately. They are getting there just ask Bournemouth.
Fucking hell, have you people ever played football? Some of the comments leave me fucking dumbfounded!!
49 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:16:08
I think sending the whole squad to Dubai is a friggin disgrace! What kind of message does this send out???
Get knocked out the cup and end up doing a couple of training sessions and spending their millions in Dubai!
Fucking joke! Should've been a few days at a boot camp at some end-of-the-earth shithole with no shops, no wi-fi, no fuck-all... fucking Dubai! Cheeky twats.
50 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:20:29
They should be hung, drawn and quartered.
51 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:37:17
52 Posted 14/02/2017 at 11:45:02
53 Posted 14/02/2017 at 12:08:44
If they beat the living shit out of Sunderland, I won't say another word on the subject.
54 Posted 14/02/2017 at 12:09:05
55 Posted 14/02/2017 at 12:27:36
I think Pennington is a great prospect, with a good brain, albeit he doesn't solve the gaping weakness in the squad for a quality, tall, header of the ball in the central defensive partnership.
Funes Mori has the 'tall' bit, but his defensive positioning and general reading of the game is woeful. Headless chicken who spreads panic throughout the ranks with aplomb. He was generally poor on Saturday, yet again.
A signing in the summer has to be a priority, although I think Van Dijk will probably be beyond us.
56 Posted 14/02/2017 at 12:37:05
Williams isn't much better either. He seems to have gone really slow. We bought him too late in his career.
58 Posted 14/02/2017 at 12:46:21
Sure, to us on sensible income levels it seems crazy to go on a work trip to Dubai but for people who are being paid £50,000+ a week it's not that crazy and also not that crazy for an employer to spend whatever it costs for 5 days there. These people live in extreme opulence thanks to their crazy wages.
As someone else wrote, this is 2017 and not the 1970s.
59 Posted 14/02/2017 at 13:22:01
Agree about Funes Mori, and Williams. Not good enough for a team with Champions League aspirations.
60 Posted 14/02/2017 at 13:26:04
62 Posted 14/02/2017 at 13:49:17
Lukaku cannot be really bad, as surely our own medical staff & not Belgium's can follow or handle this calf-strain... just another player-power decision, nothing different. Warm air training another word for "change of scenery" nothing new.
63 Posted 14/02/2017 at 14:46:49
64 Posted 14/02/2017 at 15:22:40
Flight to Dubai free, week in the sun free, still gets paid, and still wished all the best by some... Unbelievable!
It can only be bettered by Sunderland's trip to New York after being beaten four-nil at home. Footballers are truly in dreamland on another planet. Rant over, I feel a lot better now, nurse, nurse.😜
65 Posted 14/02/2017 at 15:28:07
Perhaps he has had a niggle, and that is why he played rather poorly at Boro', who, incidentally had a trip to Spain last week they looked to have benefitted from it.
66 Posted 14/02/2017 at 15:42:39
I am also surprised that Lukaku could not have travelled and had his treatment in Dubai.
Maybe it will be a battle of the Kones v Sunderland.
67 Posted 14/02/2017 at 15:54:42
On the assumption this is Koeman's call, do you think that he decided to bring them to Dubai because they deserve a break? Or do you think he thinks that the whole thing will help Everton gain more points in the Premier League?
68 Posted 14/02/2017 at 17:01:55
A few days training in warmer weather is no big deal and there are far more serious things to get worked up about.
If Ron sees benefit in this then that's good enough for me.
69 Posted 14/02/2017 at 17:25:54
You get knocked out of the cup, it's a week in the sun. You lose your place in the 1st team, you still pick up more in a week than most earn in a year. You play mediocre football week after week, but still keep your place because there is no competition for your spot...
Well there's the shit kicking grin on your Instagram post to prove you don't care. If you think players care about losing, check out the smiles on their faces when they get on the team bus for the ride home.
There was once a connection between success and salary. Now there is very little. Yes, some players get £200k a week and some £60k but you think the daily life of a bench player on a mid-table or bottom-half club is that radically different from a regular starter on a top four club? It really isn't. Ask Kone or Gibson or Cleverley how tough it gets!
72 Posted 14/02/2017 at 17:44:56
73 Posted 14/02/2017 at 18:11:00
If a surgeon or air traffic controller or even a waiter who made repeated significant errors would be on the bins very quickly. The worst thing that happens to a mediocre player is he plays poorly somewhere else for similar money.
74 Posted 14/02/2017 at 18:24:06
It's an unnecessary trip and we have never done well after one of these bonding sessions. It's a huge waste of money all round. Rock stars on rock stars' wages and some of em play like rock stars... ha ha.
75 Posted 14/02/2017 at 18:33:57
76 Posted 15/02/2017 at 00:20:40
77 Posted 15/02/2017 at 00:54:41
The moderator asked the swimmer if he had received any commercial endorsements as a result of his medal. Yes. he answered, but not much and they were only for that year.
The curler played in a total of 8 bonspiels a season, and that the purse for each was $100,000, split 5 ways. (Only if they won, of course.)
The pro basketball bench warmer pipes up; "I only make $850,000 a year! How's a person supposed to live on that!" The look the other two gave him, was hilarious.
From that day on, I consider pro athletes a different species. What they consider normal, is totally alien to the rest of us.
78 Posted 15/02/2017 at 02:45:30
79 Posted 15/02/2017 at 08:55:30
The team is on the bottom of the pile, so someone comes up with the idea of a trip to New York.
Imagine how depressed they already are, and now they will be spending some uplifting, inspirational time with their light-hearted, happy-go-lucky manager... I would rather stick pins in my eyes.
80 Posted 15/02/2017 at 09:04:27
What is the difference? The truth is there is no difference.
81 Posted 15/02/2017 at 09:22:58
82 Posted 15/02/2017 at 09:34:48
John@80: Give me Austria any time, apart from training in Lederhosen.
83 Posted 15/02/2017 at 10:44:41
Maybe they could've gone to Chile to play our namesakes there... just a thought like!
84 Posted 15/02/2017 at 11:11:35
85 Posted 15/02/2017 at 11:20:55
I'm sure the lads will have down time with some intense training also for good measure!
86 Posted 15/02/2017 at 11:29:43
Nothing less than 3 pts against Sunderland, lads, otherwise the speckies will be well pissed-off.
87 Posted 15/02/2017 at 12:12:59
I don't think Valencia has had a fair crack at proving himself at Everton, he has hardly played and when he has it was was in between weeks of sitting on the bench, much the same as Aarron Lennon.
I am not saying they are great players, just that they have never had a decent run in the side to really have a chance to convince anyone how good or bad they are.
Valencia will go back to WHU with his time at Goodison considered to be a blot on his career when the reality is he wasn't used hardly at all, a waste of time for Valencia and Everton.
By the way, I know he will have been well paid.
88 Posted 15/02/2017 at 12:47:04
Looks at weather forecast: 11 C with wind and rain/showers.
Looks at weather forecast in Dubai: 27 C mostly cloudy
Looks at fixture list Next game, Sunderland at home.
Looks at 14-day weather forecast for 25 February High of 8 C; low of 3 C.
Looks out of window again, scratches head and wonders why training in extreme heat will help for a match with weather of a high 8 C?
Goes back to work still scratching head...
89 Posted 15/02/2017 at 12:51:57
90 Posted 15/02/2017 at 13:15:33
91 Posted 15/02/2017 at 13:17:38
They can train on the moon for all I care.
92 Posted 15/02/2017 at 13:49:13
What's more concerning (depending upon which side of the fence you sit on, of course) is the betting for Barcelona's next manager after last night's drubbing.
93 Posted 15/02/2017 at 15:55:45
From memory, this special training usually preceded a cup tie. It didn't work because, apart from a semi-final in 1954 (I think), we never did anything special until the great year of '66.
94 Posted 15/02/2017 at 16:50:09
Buxton is definitely bracing. Lancs had to abandon the cricket there in June 1975 due to snow.
95 Posted 15/02/2017 at 17:30:05
Fourteen Everton players set out this morning for special F.A. Cup training at Buxton, and in the party is the Blues latest casualty, Harry Catterick, the centre forward. Catterick fell heavily in the game against Chelsea on Saturday and tore a muscle behind the right shoulder. Catterick finished the game at outside-right, and although it was hoped the injury was not serious. Harry did not have a good night on Saturday, and Manager Cliff Britton had a note of gloom in his voice when I spoke to him. However, Catterick goes to Buxton where he will be given special treatment at the spa thermal baths, and while it would be merely conjecture to forecast anything for Saturdays visit to Stoke City, I am sure that things will work out all right, for the Cup-tie on Saturday week. Those thermal baths worked wonders with Everton injuries 17 years ago and can do so again. Of to Buxton, too, went Eddie Wainwright, who was injured in the cup-tie at Derby, and Cyril Lello who was injured in the match against Aston Villa on February 4 and who has not played since, Mr. Britton is happy about the position of both these players and in fact added; “I think Cyril will be quite fit by the week-end.” That news should hearten the Everton fans. The following players in the party. Burnett; Moore, Saunders; Hedley, Grant, Falder, Farrell; Lello, Buckle, Wainwright, Higgins, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington. They will remain at Buxton, the Blues favourite training centre until Saturday when they travel through to the Victoria Grounds to play Stoke. After the match the players will come home to train until the following Thursday when they will return to Buxton to rest until the game with Liverpool at Maine-road.
Everton with a week of home training and the near certainty of Hickson and Lindsay being perfectly fit go off to Buxton overnight before the tie and come up for the last hurdle but one next day with the hopes of all Merseyside behind them. Meantime, it is not unknown for people to call out to an Evertonian “Big head” and for Evertonians to reply without hesitation “Gateshead.” I assume because Gateshead had given Bolton a game as they only lost 1-0 to Bolton in the 6th round.
96 Posted 15/02/2017 at 17:38:53
"Last year's approach was more with the ball. There was definitely no let-up in today's session, as opposed to the players going full pace after every ball, but as soon as one ball went out of play, another was thrown in straight away, and they worked on being put under pressure.
"I know a lot of fans think this is a holiday for the players, but it's not. The facility they're at is one of the best in the world and the training sessions are intensive.
"Hopefully they'll get the opportunity to spend time together and get to know each other, but it's more boot camp than holiday camp."
97 Posted 15/02/2017 at 17:45:08
I washed and it went...
Slap head I'm affraid.
98 Posted 15/02/2017 at 21:31:04
99 Posted 15/02/2017 at 22:00:34
Let's hope Ronald is instilling the hardness, fitness and confidence which we've lacked for a very long time.
100 Posted 16/02/2017 at 00:10:24
Me personally, only based on assumption, I'm not sure I'd want to be in Dubai with Koeman. I'd hardly expect an easy time.
And that's the point.
Anybody thinking the players are going to get it easy compared to being at Finch Farm are probably mistaken. He's going to drill them, no doubts about it.
If we come back and stumble against Sunderland then it's open to criticism but I believe the idea is there to train them hard and indoctrinate them more in the Koeman way.
101 Posted 16/02/2017 at 09:02:07
Sunderland off to bloody America, us off to Dubai... to be honest, yes, I get the fact that we are in a different generation in football but I'll still never understand how this kind of thing benefits a team.
Last time we went off to Dubai was in January 2015 and our immediate results read as following...
Crystal Palace: won 1-0
Liverpool: drew 0-0
Chelsea: lost 0-1
Leicester City: drew 2-2
Arsenal: lost 0-2
Stoke City: lost 0-2
Let's hope for a better impact than that.
102 Posted 16/02/2017 at 09:15:46
It's funny how people will relate certain aspects of history to suit their narrative; the games prior to the Crystal Palace victory read:
Spurs: Lost 1-2
Hull City: Drew 1-1
Man City: Lost 0-1
QPR: Won 3-1
Southampton: Lost 0-3
Stoke City: Lost 0-1
Newcastle Utd: Lost 2-3
Hull City: Lost 0-2....
Followed by four draws against West Ham x2 in the FA cup, Man City and West Brom.
So it could be argued that the Dubai trip didn't impact on Everton's form one way or the other.
103 Posted 16/02/2017 at 11:52:47
I hear what your saying but the fact is what you say is what I was saying.
Going to Dubai made no real difference either way to the form, we never came back in blistering form and we never came back in worse form so I was simply saying I don't fully understand the need to go halfway across the globe to do a fitness camp, I've never got my head around warm weather training because when you arrive back in England your playing and training in cold conditions.
Maybe the players feel some benefit or maybe it's just a jolly in the sun who knows, we'll find out when they come back if it's damaged or helped us perhaps.