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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1 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:47:44
2 Posted 01/11/2015 at 20:49:54
5 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:00:24
6 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:00:34
7 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:03:08
8 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:11:05
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.
9 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:15:05
10 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:26:54
Match of the Day 2 should be worth watching tonight, for a change. I usually give it a miss, when Everton lose.
11 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:28:13
12 Posted 01/11/2015 at 21:51:10
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.
13 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:19:36
14 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:24:41
15 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:25:10
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.
16 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:32:03
17 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:34:33
18 Posted 01/11/2015 at 22:58:20
19 Posted 01/11/2015 at 23:45:58
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.
21 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:11:23
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!
22 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:27:55
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.
23 Posted 02/11/2015 at 06:22:57
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.
24 Posted 02/11/2015 at 07:55:37
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.
25 Posted 02/11/2015 at 08:46:52
27 Posted 02/11/2015 at 11:54:42
I'm pleased with Kone's efforts yesterday. If he can bang in 10+ a season and take some pressure of Romelu, then great.
28 Posted 02/11/2015 at 12:44:49
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.
29 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:20:55
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
30 Posted 02/11/2015 at 15:55:34
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.
31 Posted 02/11/2015 at 16:34:58
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.
32 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:20:38
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.
33 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:26:57
34 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:34:43
But whatever the reason long may it continue.
35 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:53:15
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.
36 Posted 02/11/2015 at 17:53:59
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.
37 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:11:12
38 Posted 02/11/2015 at 18:30:43
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.
39 Posted 02/11/2015 at 19:46:29
40 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:29:59
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.
41 Posted 03/11/2015 at 09:49:14
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.
42 Posted 03/11/2015 at 13:10:38
43 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:00:26
Watch this space...
44 Posted 03/11/2015 at 14:03:23
45 Posted 03/11/2015 at 19:37:39
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.
46 Posted 03/11/2015 at 21:57:31
47 Posted 03/11/2015 at 22:26:50
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!
48 Posted 04/11/2015 at 10:33:37
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.
49 Posted 04/11/2015 at 10:35:41
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.
50 Posted 04/11/2015 at 12:05:17
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.
51 Posted 07/11/2015 at 00:58:44
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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