Kone earns another year with Everton

by | 01/11/2015  47 Comments  [Jump to last]
Arouna Kone's 35th appearance for Everton wasn't just notable for his first Premier League hat-trick, it also triggered a 12-month extension to his contract.

With just three goals to his name since joining club in the summer of 2013, the prospect of the Ivorian sticking around beyond next June seemed remote before today.

What had been a gradual renaissance for the 31-year-old since the knee injury that almost ended his career, however, exploded today at Goodison Park when he notched three goals as the Blues hammered Sunderland 6-2.

Kone doubled Everton's lead to 2-0 with half an hour gone when he finished a terrific passing move on the edge the Black Cats' box and then helped seal a much-needed win with the fifth and six goals to complete the rout.

"Today is my best day at Everton," Kone told evertontv after the game. "It's my first hat-trick with the team.

"I think this victory is very good for the team. Over the past few weeks we've played some difficult games against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal but [now we've won] and it's very good for the team."

Roberto Martinez was effusive for a player who brought to Goodison from Wigan Athletic as what he hoped would be reliable striking option but has, instead, had to help come back from over a year of injury hell.

"It has been as difficult as you can get [for Arouna]," Martinez said. "It was a career-threatening injury.

"His attitude, his focus, never changed and he never chose to blame anyone and anything.

"Today was the most complete 90 minutes he has had and it was a phenomenal 90 minutes because it triggers an extension to his contract. He is a sensational example to any young footballer facing adversity."  

Reader Comments (47)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:47:44
Bravo. One call I got right (there aren't many) is that against the run of TW sentiment, I never gave up on Kone. Always thought the guy who left Heitinga for dead a couple years ago was still in there and would score for us when (not if) he got healthy. Watching him and Rom work together is pure joy at times. And watching them celebrate today was pure fun.
Minik Hansen
2 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:49:54
Deserved after all, good at holding up the ball and going forward. Congratulations Kone, keep up the great work.
Alex Kociuba
5 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:00:24
I wonder if any of the negative people in this thread are willing to comment now?
Alex Kociuba
6 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:00:34
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:03:08
Mike, hands up, I did give up on Kone towards the end of last season when he broke down after his comeback but I never got into the personal insults that are so easily thrown around. I'm made up for the lad and long may it continue.
Victor Jones
8 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:11:05
I also stuck by him when some very fickle people said that he was not an Everton type player. I got slated on here for that. But who cares. The lad is now coming good. And apart from a few goals, his link-up play is benefiting the team, especially Lukaku.

Look who have netted hat tricks recently. Two players usually criticised on here. It's a funny old game.

Let's hope Kone stays fit. And he features for another few seasons. And let's keep the criticism for Howard, who I believe really is finished. Add McGeady... Pienaar... Hibbert and Osman as well. But not Kone.

Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:15:05
If Kone hadn't had that serious injury, I'm sure he would have scored a bag full of goals for us.
Victor Jones
10 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:26:54
Well done Arouna Kone. Always knew that we had a player. The mauling we got from Wigan convinced me about Kone. And only Kone. No other Wigan players... thank you.

Match of the Day 2 should be worth watching tonight, for a change. I usually give it a miss, when Everton lose.

Ian McDowell
11 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:28:13
Like Colin, I did give up on Kone too; however, he has won me over. We look so much more of a threat when Lukaku and him play together. Really delighted for him.
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:51:10
I can't blame you guys for giving up on him... he's 32 and it was a long, long wait for him to get back. Just love watching him now.

I am not, however, the least bit forgiving of the TWers who blamed his religious observance for his slow start and subsequent injury two seasons ago. Those people owe him many apologies in my opinion.

Paul Jeronovich
13 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:19:36
To be fair, he has turned it around and looks a different player. Let's not be too hard on those who questioned his ability (me included) he looked absolutely shite not too long ago and his career stats backed it up. Good on the lad though,hope it continues.
Dave Bowen
14 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:24:41
Always rated Kone holding the ball & his general link-up play. So much better than Lukaku's. A combination of the best bits of the two would be some player!
Phil Sammon
15 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:25:10
Oh Mike, get over yourself will you.

His Everton career was an absolute disaster up until this season. I like the lad and have harboured hope he could be a good player...but clearly he has fallen well short of what we hoped, recent performances excluded.

I doubt you or Kone will be getting any apologies for something people said two years ago. However, he'll get my congratulations for a really special showing today. He's earning his place in the team. Well done.

Jim Lloyd
16 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:32:03
Paul, it isn't so much getting at those who questioned his ability. It's about giving any player a chance. I just think he was written off by some, from the moment he signed.
Brent Stephens
17 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:34:33
Kone's Everton career was only a disaster because of his injuries. Great to see now his all-round skills - running, ball control, ability to turn a man, to run past a man, to thread a lovely pass, to shoot, to dye his hair. A fair signing, I'd say.
Andrew Ellams
18 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:58:20
Fantastic foil for Lukaku. If the big man had Kone's touch he'd be worth 㿨million but I guess bringing different strengths to the table is what makes them a solid partnership. 4 goals and 3 assists between them today!
Paul Thompson
19 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:45:58
I liked him at Wigan – thought he had speed and guile. But he was very poor when he arrived and after his injury. I wrote him off.

I was wrong. His movement, close control and awareness are a pleasure to watch and he works well with Rom.

Another year – he's earned it.

Anthony Dwyer
21 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:11:23
Credit were it's due for Kone; he's been brilliant all season. I for one had written him off along time ago although I posted once that he would never command a transfer fee and he might be a rough diamond this season. I was called out and laughed at by some of the fellas on ToffeeWeb and I must admit I did chuckle at my words after a re-read. That said he has actually proven to be just what I said he may become.

I put his fine form down to the fact he seems like a fella who genuinely enjoys his football and has probably come to realise that Everton is as big as it will ever be for him at his age. His attitude towards playing for the Blues has to be applauded as he's always working his socks off. Not only did he bag a hat trick today but at 2-0 up I pointed his position out to my dad and he was at left back in a back 5. Within seconds, he had run the length of the pitch to earn us corner.

Kone has been our find of the season; he's the perfect complement to Rom and each time he plays, Rom looks happier.

A massive well done to the lads today on their win and a well done to Martinez too as he's actually played the starting 11 most would... About time!

Ernie Baywood
22 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:27:55
Reading back on the link posted by Alex, I'm standing behind my posts.

The signing never made much sense. The best it could have worked was 'alright'. But I felt for him in never getting a chance to show what he could do.

So far this season he's done well and I'm thrilled for us and for him. This was a big opportunity and his injuries were cruel. You couldn't exactly term his signing a huge success yet but he's being vindicated in terms of his ability... which was unfairly questioned.

Brian Porter
23 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:22:57
I was wrong, and freely admit it. I was one of the many who wrote him off as a total waste of money. He did appear to lack the quality required of a Premier League striker when he first arrived, but, having fought back from his injuries, he has been like a player reborn this season.

His partnership with Rom could prove to be a great positive for us if RM continues to deploy them properly with the support of those terrific crosses from Deulofeu, but please, no more diving, Gerry.

Well done and congratulations on a first hat-trick in England, Arouna.

Thomas Surgenor
24 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:55:37
I watched him at Goodison in a cameo (pre injury) and he was gash. I had also given up on him and thought we should've started with Mirallas instead. Kone is what he is... Great at holding the ball up while also being neat and tidy.

Made up for him today and I felt sorry for him during his injury hell. Unfortunately I can see us all being frustrated with him again very soon (cf, hat-trick hero Naismith). Kone and Naismith just don't produce the consistency but on their day, they're a great asset to the team.

Barry McNally
25 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:46:52
What was the trigger, Dave?
Rob Baker
27 Posted 02/11/2015 at 11:54:42
Gareth Barry's 600th appearance will trigger a new 5-year deal

I'm pleased with Kone's efforts yesterday. If he can bang in 10+ a season and take some pressure of Romelu, then great.

James Stewart
28 Posted 02/11/2015 at 12:44:49
Let's not get carried away. A quality hat-trick, yes, but it was only Sunderland and there have been plenty of times when Kone has been really poor. Whether that was a fitness or confidence issue, who knows... but he still needs to repay Everton.

A passenger for 2 years, he needs to kick on now and get into double figures this season. I hope he does as he seems like a genuinely nice guy. Refreshing to see two strikers on against the likes of Sunderland as well, long may it continue.

Teddy Bertin
29 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:20:55
I've never had a pop at Kone, but I feared that at his age he may be finished. He's looked dreadful in some matches. Martinez has been fiercely loyal to him, even playing him over players in better form, just to get a run of games. He must really believe that he offers something important that we don't have in the team and on recent evidence he'd be right.

His passing and vision are much better than Naisey and we haven't got anyone who can hold the ball up like him. Having him making runs into the box allows Lukaku to come deeper and pass/cross the ball, which is actually one of Rom's strong points. His first touch is awful, but his passing from deep or the wings is underratted imo.

I hope Kone can be a big hit this season, because we won't get a better chance at 4th spot. Chelsea won't be down there for long with their money

Richard Reeves
30 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:55:34
He played well yesterday and has had some good games of late but if this contract extension is seen as a good reason not to buy a top striker to challenge Lukaku then I'm happy to be one of the negative one's.

The thing is, I know any addition in that department will be someone either learning the game or low in profile so will be content in sitting on the bench in order to let the big man's ego remain intact.

James Flynn
31 Posted 02/11/2015 at 16:34:58
Fingers crossed, his knee holds up. Lukaku is best with a partner and we have a solution to Kone not being overworked.

Why can't Roberto alternate Kone and Naismith up top with Lukaku? He clearly does better part of a pair. Naismith doesn't have Kone's touch, but has the same attacking instinct in and around the box.

It seems whenever we pair someone with Lukaku, chances are created. Rom certainly perks up. Why not make it permanent? Let our opponent do the worrying.

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:20:38
Sorry, have not read all the posts but I find it a bit odd that the 12 month extension was triggered by just 35 appearances. He signed a 3-year deal after all, so presumably the club were concerned that he'd fail to make an average of just 12 appearances/season.

If that's true, then I'd have had a clause in there for more appearances over 3 seasons if there was a real concern re fitness.... a bit moot now but I hope he can keep his form up.

Jamie Clancy
33 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:26:57
I'm made up for him. He was sensational. OK, it was Sunderland but he tore them to shreds. The link-up play between Rom and himself was great to watch. He deserves his new contract extension.
Frank Crewe
34 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:34:43
I must admit I wasn't particularly ecstatic about Kone's signing and I thought 6 million quid was way too much for a striker with such a mediocre scoring record. But the fact is he gets far more out of Lukaku than when he plays upfront alone. Maybe Rom is the son he never had.

But whatever the reason long may it continue.

Jamie Crowley
35 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:53:15
I completely gave up on Kone.

When he came in at the season opener, myself and my two sons, and another dad and son combo watching on the TV at a bar, all groaned. Like, in unison!

I think I actually yelled out, "What the fuck?!"

Couldn't have been more wrong.

Sincerely hope Kone stays healthy. He's a gem to watch.

Ian Hams
36 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:53:59
Just a thought but as an option to give Rom a rest, or god forbid cover any injury, how about a front two of Kone and Naismith??

Kone has the link play and the holding up and Naisy is brilliant at producing the runs and is a clinical finisher.

I am fully expecting to get shot down for this but I think they may just compliment each other.

Des Farren
37 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:11:12
Arouna is by no means everyone's favourite on this site. But, he deserves a break, he got it yesterday, and took it. He obviously loves playing football and his celebration was neat. A wonderful story.
Harold Matthews
38 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:30:43
I've stuck by this lad since day one and have had my leg pulled on many occasions.

That said, he has never been as fit as he is right now. His movement and his fine understanding of other people's movement has helped us improve in the final third. Okay, he lacks pace and can't track back as well as we would like him to but he'll try. Anxious to prove he was worth the money, he'll always try but will know that much tougher tasks than Sunderland lie ahead and he may not always start.

I just wish he would cut out the lower league shoe-shine stuff with the big fella. We're a team, not a two-man outfit. Some of the lads were not impressed. Coleman and McCarthy almost ignored matchball Kone at the end and saved the smiles and handshakes for the linesman and his officials. Strange stuff indeed.

Craig Mills
39 Posted 02/11/2015 at 19:46:29
Hopefully Kone won't do a Naismith after he scored his hattrick; since then Naismith has been dreadful!!!
Paul Cherrington
40 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:29:59
I have to hold my hands up and say I was one of those giving Kone a lot of stick previously. However, his performances of late when he has played have been good, especially his fine display at the weekend. As has already been noted, Rom and the team seem to play better when he's in there with them.

I didn't notice about some of the others getting the hump over Rom and him celebrating though. I don't see why... I thought that and his little dance before were quite funny.

Trevor Lynes
41 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:49:14
Kone is the perfect foil for Lukaku and I have been saying this for an age. He ran Heitinga ragged and has strength plus ball control. I always liked him and cannot understand any negativity from fans.

Incidently, for some reason Gibson never gets castigated and he should be on his bike if anyone should. This man who could have killed someone is certainly not my idea of a professional Everton player. For some reason he acquired a contract extension while he was injured and that is unbelievable.

I agree that we need to replace some of our older players but at least they have performed well over quite long periods of time and deserve plaudits.Players like Hibbert, Osman and Pienaar have always given of their best but now due to age or injury are peripheral members of the first team squad. McGeady has never been good enough.

We need to hang on to Naismith and Mirallas as they are the best subs we have at the moment.Mirallas is a definite goal scorer and Naismith is a work horse who could cover for Barkley.

Liam Reilly
42 Posted 03/11/2015 at 13:10:38
The boy did well yesterday and looks comfortable on the ball but FFS: a Contract Extension for 35 games over a 3-year period when most have been cameos off the bench.... What kind of idiots do we have agreeing these contracts?

Joe Edwards
43 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:00:26
I have been his greatest critic, though credit to the lad: he played well against Sunderland. However, one swallow doesn't make a summer, and a 1-year extension does not deflect from the bigger picture that he has not been good value for the outlay. If he can remain injury free, keep his form consistent, then maybe... just maybe he will start to justify Martinez faith in him.

Watch this space...

Kevin O'Regan
44 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:03:23
I certainly think Big Rom plays much better (himself) when Kone is on as well as linking up very well with him — what a pass for Kone's 3rd. Great movement. Keep it up.
Peter Laing
45 Posted 03/11/2015 at 19:37:39
I will eat a large slice of humble pie. I too wrote him off and thought that at £6 million we had been well and truly rinsed by Dave Whelan.

If my memory serves me right, Kone was injured after about 3 games into his Everton career. It wasn't about a lack of apparent ability, as he destroyed Everton in the FA Cup game at Goodison, but more to do with his age and previous trouble with injury.

Delighted for Arouna, Everton and the supporters; long may it continue.

Dennis Ng
46 Posted 03/11/2015 at 21:57:31
Great shout out for Kone to be listed amongst the best in Europe!


Ste Lewis
47 Posted 03/11/2015 at 22:26:50
I remember his display in the FA Cup Final against Man City, his hold-up play was outstanding: superb control, strength and link-up throughout.

Some half-wits booed him going off against Norwich last week. Not deserved the stick at all; he didn't ask for the injury! Some people still harking on about £6M as if it is any amount in this day and age & Bradley Johnson cost Derby County £6M, Chelsea probably paid more on Falcao's wages already!

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 04/11/2015 at 10:33:37
Ste 43, I also remember Kone's display in that match mate, but you forget to mention he was also up against the best central defender in the league that day. To score 13 league goals for a relegated team, that plays in the style of Martinez, shows he must have something, and I'm glad he's starting to prove the critics wrong, for both himself, and the man who signed him.

I watched the match on Sunday, in a room with my son, and the tele had no sound. I didn't think much of Everton, to be honest, and thought the pace at which we started the game was really poor.

We proved on Sunday that there are goals in this team, but I just wish the manager would let us off the leash and get us playing with more tempo from the off, because the way we defended on Sunday, it looks like we are going to have to score four goals just to win a match.

Get the lead and then play on the counter attack, because one thing this team can do, is attack with great speed when they are not just playing tippy, tappy football.

John Voigt
49 Posted 04/11/2015 at 10:35:41
One thing to note is Everton are short on options if Lukaku can't play. One is valuable for this this reason. Lukaku is young and pretty durable, but usually picks up a knock or 2 plus maybe a hamstring injury.

I really think Everton need one additional "Big Strapping Strong" central striker to fill in for Lukaku when he's not available.

I'm very interested to see how Everton can do through the "soft" portion of their schedule from now until the end of there calendar year. A 6-2 win against any Premier League team is a good start and I only hope the number of points picked up through the "soft" portion of the schedule is past 2 points a game.

Richard Reeves
50 Posted 04/11/2015 at 12:05:17
Harold (#34),

You're right about the goal celebration, it was cringeworthy. Kone was only interested in shining Lukaku's boots so wriggled out of any hugs from other team mates and had to wait a while for the big fella as he was busy in his own world of self adulation doing that finger clicking thing to the crowd. I felt embarrassed for them.

Barry Jones
51 Posted 07/11/2015 at 00:58:44
I also thought that Kone was finished but he has proved me wrong and I am thrilled about that. He gives us an added dimension going forward. This just goes to show how much fitness and confidence impacts a player's performance.

I thought that he lacked ability, but he clearly doesn't. He just lacked what was needed to bring it out. He is now match fit and bubbling over, so long may it last because he is a joy to watch at the moment... and very, very productive.

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