Baines scores in friendly win

11/11/2015  26 Comments  [Jump to last]
Leighton Baines came through a specially arranged behind-closed-doors friendly against Preston North End this afternoon, scoring one of Everton's goals in a 4-3 win.

The England international played the full 90 minutes and also provided an assist for Arouna Kone who headed home his free kick.

Leon Osman and Steven Naismith were also on target for the Blues at Finch Farm.

Baines is hoping to play one more similar friendly at the Blues' training ground in the next week with the hope of being fit for the next Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on 21st November.  

Reader Comments (26)

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Geoff Risebrow
2 Posted 11/11/2015 at 22:28:09
Welcome back, Leighton. We have missed you massively.

Hopefully he is fit to start against Villa. I am looking forward to that beautiful left foot doing some damage to the opposition.

Alastair Donaldson
3 Posted 11/11/2015 at 23:08:30
Excellent. Hope he's back for the duration after an unusual (for him) period of injury... on consistency grounds he deserves to be the 1st choice for England - and deserves to go to France next summer.

I expect he'll go straight in our starting XI which is tough on Galloway, but at least there's good competition at left back, including Bryan & Garbutt.

Longer term, it's difficult to see him playing anywhere else in the team... except maybe a holding midfield spot.

Paul Baker
4 Posted 12/11/2015 at 00:35:59
We conceded three? Howard must've been in goal then.
Michael Penley
5 Posted 12/11/2015 at 00:49:02
Wow, we scored from a set piece? We need Baines back ASAP
Anthony Dwyer
6 Posted 12/11/2015 at 01:45:14
This is the best news since the Stones news. Baines is the outstanding English left back by a country mile. Forget about Shaw, Gibbs and Bertrand, they are not in Baines's class and never will be.

It amazes me how idiots like Kenny Samson (as recently as today) feel it's okay to talk Baines down. Do people not realise that Baines was in the top few chances created in Europe's top divisions for 3 seasons on the bounce.

Imagine Shaw done it once, people would never hear the end of it, Baines did it consistently for seasons before his injury misfortune.

Brendan Galloway has been terrific all season (he struggled vs Moses at weekend, mind you), and he is a brilliant prospect. If we can loan him out in January so as to keep him playing first team football at the top level, this will be fantastic. But Baines coming back majorly strengthens our team without any doubt.

Great news.

Harold Matthews
8 Posted 12/11/2015 at 04:15:24
Yes Anthony, great news but I don't know what Luke Shaw has got to do with it. He's only a kid and quite an exciting player already. Personally, I'm more concerned with how Baines performs for Everton.
Brian Porter
9 Posted 12/11/2015 at 05:46:44
Best news of the season so far, and to score as well? Fantastic! Welcome back, Leighton.
Kase Chow
10 Posted 12/11/2015 at 07:13:55
Harold #6

I think Anthony #5 was (quite rightly) rubbishing popular misconceptions about who's the best left back in England. Shaw's considered up there but Baines is in a different league and doesn't get the recognition

I hope a 'pre Man U speculation' Baines returns and Martinez helps our offensive full backs rather than plays a system that hinders them

A top quality Baines is an awesome awesome player and we'll miss him when he eventually finishes

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 12/11/2015 at 07:33:22
I think we have missed Baines in attack with his set pieces and crossing in general of a high quality though I think Galloway will be, if he isn't already, the better defender. His height alone is useful in a team prone to conceding set pieces and very few wingers have got the better of him whereas Baines often lets a lot of crosses come in from his side.

I'm very curious to try Baines in the DMC position. He's a tremendously intelligent footballer with great distribution and energy levels.

Bit left field but I think a DMC pairing of Cleverley and Baines could potentially offer an excellent balance of creativity and intelligent covering. Pie in the sky though....

Adam Luszniak
12 Posted 12/11/2015 at 10:04:45
I think one of the reasons Baines is so undervalued as a national asset is clear when watching England play when he's in the side. So many time Baines makes runs which are either not spotted, or ignored by the rest of the England team.

I am looking forward to having Baines back for many reasons, not least because we need more experience in our back 4 with Jags out. Not only that but we all now how many chances Baines creates.

As good as Galloway is (and he should be lauded for slotting on to the team so easily), we have missed having Baines's short passing game in the final third. For years we've taken for granted how good he is at moving the ball forward.

Michael Polley
13 Posted 12/11/2015 at 10:20:48
Excellent news. Will be like a new player for us. Galloway has been an outstanding as his replacement, but Bainsey will give us more attacking options, and a greater threat at set plays.
Dave Roberts
14 Posted 12/11/2015 at 10:50:01
Adam got it spot on. England do not know how to play to Baines's strengths... or they don't want to, which is probably more likely. The way he was abandoned then blamed at the World Cup was an absolute disgrace.

There are other decent English left backs like Shaw and Gibbs but are they really any better than Galloway or even Garbutt for that matter? Gibbs is very hit and miss and I've seen Shaw roasted a few times and for a young lad he doesn't have a lot of pace.

In any case, who cares? I don't need Woy, a pundit or a football journalist to tell me who is the best, I already know!

Welcome back, Bainesy.

John Keating
16 Posted 12/11/2015 at 11:34:29
Even in a bounce game, we concede from a corner.
Ajay Gopal
17 Posted 12/11/2015 at 11:57:36
We have massively missed Baines in the team - his corners and set-pieces would have easily got us at least 2 more goals (just speculation on my part) which could have meant at least 1 draw converted to a win (2 points).

Galloway has covered very well for Baines (his cross for Naismith which started the 3-0 rout of Chelsea should not be easily forgotten), but he is more suited to the central defensive position, which could be his for years to come at Everton (assuming he doesn't get swayed by Man Utd or the likes). My ideal team would be:

Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Cleverley Barkley Barry
Deulofeu Lukaku Kone

(Subs: Howard, Funes Mori, Galloway, McCarthy, Mirallas, Naismith, Lennon)

Tony J Williams
18 Posted 12/11/2015 at 12:15:38
Amen Adam, the number of times I have watched old Creasehead (glad he retired) ignore a Baines run and look inside for one of his pally RedShite team mates, it drove me nuts.

He is wasted in the England side and as harsh as it sounds, I hope that dippy old twat Woy drops him for Gibbs... we can then watch Gibbs get embarrassed by the better teams.

Aaron Underwood
19 Posted 12/11/2015 at 13:18:37
I wouldn't mind Baines taking McCarthy's place, to be honest.
Tom Bowers
20 Posted 12/11/2015 at 13:55:49
Everton, on paper have quite a bit of talent these days both experienced and the newcomers. The problem is playing on the same page.

In defence, that is doubly important but has not been evident this season. Consequently, when the goals are conceded, too many fans are quick to blame Howard. Yes, he is to blame for one or two but generally Everton's closing down and tackling has been poor.

Baines has class but, like Howard and Jags, is getting up there in age and they all may be getting past their best but I do agree he has more to offer at this time than Galloway, who I still think will be a central defender eventually.

Thomas Surgenor
22 Posted 12/11/2015 at 14:38:15
Excellent news... As long as he puts his foot down and actually takes the free kicks on his return!

I'm happy with Lukaku on pens but Baines needs to pull rank and hit free kicks.

Harold Matthews
24 Posted 12/11/2015 at 16:11:18
Quite right, Adam. I blame Hodgson for being completely ignorant of the way Baines operates. As an ex-Premier League manager who has come up against the Baines / Pienaar combination on more than one occasion, he acts as though it never existed.

Barkley knows the score but the old brigade are gradually being phased out.

Bob McEvoy
25 Posted 12/11/2015 at 18:21:17
Don't want to put a downer on this but, if memory serves, Baines's free kicks and corners were bloody awful from the beginning of 2014 onwards.
Paul Ellam
26 Posted 12/11/2015 at 18:43:35
Made my day that - any highlights of the game?
Baines back in the team and taking free kicks will be great.
Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 12/11/2015 at 19:00:53
Not seen any highlights, Paul... not so much as a team sheet.

There's a little bit more here from the PNE website:

PNE Faced Strong Premier League Test At Finch Farm

Dave Brierley
28 Posted 12/11/2015 at 20:10:57
Bob (#20). Yes you did put a downer on it.

Most of us are delighted he's back. Great player and a real plus for the team

Terence Tipler
29 Posted 12/11/2015 at 20:30:43
Great that Leighton is on the way back. But not surprised we conceded from a corner. We need to improve this part of our game...
Harold Matthews
30 Posted 12/11/2015 at 21:10:31
Nice to hear Baines scored from open play but not so nice to learn that Preston scored with two headers.
Christopher Timmins
31 Posted 13/11/2015 at 06:53:16
Welcome back to the fold, Leighton. You were missed and hopefully you will push the team forward in the months ahead!

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