Michael Keane believes he will only get better as a defender for club and country now that he has a settled role in what is a more stable Everton team than when he first arrived.
The Stockport-born centre-half was signed with much fanfare by then manager Ronald Koeman in the summer of 2017 after spending three seasons with Burnley but struggled to find his form as he battled a serious foot infection while the Blues floundered in the wrong half of the Premier League before eventually grinding their way to an 8th-place finish.
Playing alongside Chelsea loanee, Kurt Zouma, under new Everton boss Marco Silva, Keane's second season was hugely improved and he has carried that impressive form into the new season with new defensive partner Yerry Mina.
The 26-year-old credits Silva and the different methods he brings as a foreign coach for his development and Everton's good run of results since February.
“You need to keep improving all the time,” Keane said in a lengthy exclusive interview with evertontv from the England camp. “I am reaching the age where I will be in my prime in the next two or three years. I am only going to keep getting better, I think.
“I have always had the right attitude, the desire to keep learning and working hard every day. The manager played a huge part when he came in but the biggest thing was myself, mentally, wanting to prove people wrong and show them how good I could be.
“He has different ideas from other managers — every manager is slightly different and you learn from all of them. He has been brought up on a different style of football in Portugal and has a different philosophy — and it is great to learn from him. He has taught me a lot — I am sure the same is true for everyone at the Club.
“The way we want to play is really drilled into us now, we just need to fine-tune it, work on a few things and I think we are close to being a really good team.
“I want to get in people's faces a bit more — at the right time. You can't do it all the time, because the forward might pick you off and play one-twos around you. You have to be careful and choose the times when you can do it.
“I think it gives the team a big boost if the ball comes back to the halfway line and one of the centre-halves can get tight, win it and set us on the counter.
“I think it lifts the place and it is important we continue to do that.”
Reader Comments (94)
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1 Posted 06/09/2019 at 06:37:31
2 Posted 06/09/2019 at 07:55:08
Now that he has settled and more or less become regular since Kurt Zouma departed, he has shown himself to be a decent defender. I thought he was so unlucky against Wolves, those two headers were almost perfect, yet the keeper somehow managed to keep them out.
Let's hope no injuries get picked up in these meaningless friendlies against Brazil (Richie too) in Miami. They also play Venezuela at some point, if anyone let's a chance to watch them, look out for a left sided Centre Back called Osorio. I watched quite a few of the Copa games and this guy really impressed me, could probably get him for buttons too.
3 Posted 06/09/2019 at 07:57:22
5 Posted 06/09/2019 at 10:56:56
Defensively we haven't been good enough. There's been a few individual mistakes but it's as a team we haven't been at our best.
It's great having forward press but the rest of the team need to join in and not sit back. Likewise when forwards sprint 40 yards back but have failed to get on the defensive side of the opposition.
Hopefully we can find the right balance against different opposition. I think Bournemouth is another tough test as their pace and movement will give us a very different threat to handle.
It will be much tougher for Keane and Mina and they will need better protection from the midfield.
6 Posted 06/09/2019 at 11:09:56
7 Posted 06/09/2019 at 11:29:48
Really like Keane as a player. Hopefully he and Mina can have a very good season, then maybe add a younger centre back to the ranks in the summer as better cover than holgate (who I cant ever see be a top premier league centre back).
8 Posted 06/09/2019 at 12:41:18
I wonder if he will get a game tomorrow, not sure what Bulgaria are like these days.
Slightly off topic but still on an International theme, Seamus has been getting the Twitter treatment from a host of Irish fans. Most saying as some on here have, that he is simply not the same player since that horrific leg-break.
10 Posted 06/09/2019 at 15:22:35
"Keane was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, grew up in the suburb of Heaton Mersey and attended St Bede's College in Whalley Range."
I love English town names.
11 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:25:56
Stoke on Trent. I mean, what in the hell is that? How do you come up with that?
Americans liked the English city names so much, they just took them. Boston, Birmingham, York, New York, New London, etc. Just flat steal it, or slap a "New" in front of it and you're good to go.
Regarding Keane, he turns like a barge, but I like him. Despite that deficiency, he's a solid defender. His only real tough time with us was when he was playing on a bloody and bruised club foot under Big Sam.
He's been solid. Damn good buy for me.
12 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:32:06
"The club still owe me six weeks' wages," one club employee told ESPN FC. "I haven't got myself into debt yet, but it's been tough and I had to use the food banks, like a lot of the staff here. Everton donated towards it and Preston sent over £2,000 worth of vouchers for Sainsbury's -- so football has rallied round for us. But it's been really tough for everyone, especially those who experienced the good times in the Premier League."
We do support the classiest club in the world, ya know?
I feel for Bolton. Relegated from the Premier League by one lousy goal just seven years ago -- Muamba's heart attack knocked their season off the rails -- and now they're starting mostly teenagers who have lost their last three games by a combined score of 15-0. It can go so bad, so fast.
13 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:39:40
Re Keane, the "barge" charge has been oft-repeated here, but I think it's false. He actually turns quite well for a defender his size. Haven't seen him beaten by a long ball or thru pass in quite a while. His issue this season has been getting caught flatfooted by opponents crossing in front of him, not behind.
14 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:49:20
Don't know what he was thinking when he let Wesley, run past him to score Villa's first goal, and agree with Silva, when he says that Keane has got to be more aggressive defensively.
That's why I prefer Mina over Keane, (he's more aggressive) but I'd say Keane is probably a better footballer, but I'd love the two of them to sort it out between themselves and become a formidable partnership, because they don't look like they really compliment each other at the minute.
15 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:59:59
I think Mina and Keane are complementing each other superbly, especially for their limited time together. They've melded more quickly than I would have thought possible.
And I think Mina is the better footballer -- smoother on the ball, better first touch, better positional instincts, and more cultured with his head.
But do I agree with you on Keane's positional issues and his need for more aggression.
16 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:13:29
Still trying to find out why there are so many Scottish named towns in Florida.
Williston, Morriston, Dunnellon, Dunedin, Inverness.
I heard it was something to do with religion but it's a good job Trump wasn't around at the time.
17 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:15:11
I thought they were all over the place in the first half against Wolves but they got better the longer the game went on. This was possibly because I thought Everton had a lot more control of the game in the second half last week.
They worry me, maybe the television might not pick up how many times they both went for the same ball last week, Mike, but it's still early days, and they say good players can play with anyone, so let's see how things pan out.
18 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:15:59
I've got the same opinion re Keane. There is something lacking in his concentration and awareness. Not in every game thankfully but sometimes he goes sleepwalking.
19 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:43:59
For me, he's performing really well alongside Mina.
20 Posted 06/09/2019 at 19:33:13
Tom Davies is captaining the side, and he still seems to be making the same mistakes he was making three years ago; getting too tight to players, who then spin off him and leave him for dust. We're not even at half-time and it's happened several times - the last one ended in him bringing down the Turkey captain (Berkay Özcan - very good player) with a desperate lunge, and getting a yellow card.
In respect of the other England junior sides, Anthony Gordon was apparently in good form (again) for the Under-19s last night, as they beat Greece 3-1.
21 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:09:06
22 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:42:01
Especially towards one of the Founder Member teams still in existence, but as per usual Everton don't make a song and dance about it, like our more well off neighbours. Okay they were never Founders but the Human aspect should kick in!
I guess I 've answered my own suspicion there!
Jamie @ 11, I am somewhat amazed that you think some Olde English Town and City Names, are curious and amusing, I admit some are. They mostly stem from a vernacular no longer in existence, that was perfectly natural to the people of that age. (lol)
I will list a few. Titter Ye Not!
Beer, Booby Dingle, Great Snoring, Spanker's Hill Wood, Pity Me, Crackpot, Sally's Bottom (often wanted to go there) and Crapstone.
Believe me, these places still exist on Maps, spare a thought for the people that live there, when filling in an Official Report, well I live in... and was often visiting etc.
Still on a jocular theme, you mentioned Stoke-on-Trent, (which the latter part is a major River of England) but is also, in modern adopted slang, a pseudonym for being Bent. ie, that fellow is Stoke-on-Trent!
23 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:54:43
26 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:26:27
27 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:30:40
To our American Blues we ( or I do anyway) find English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish towns and cities a never-ending form of amusement... Bognor Regis, Leighton Buzzard?? Just two English towns off the top of my head.
I'm from Old Swan, I moved then to Knotty Ash / Swanside which was next to a minor suburb called Little Bongs!! And no, it didn't have a drug problem.
I went on a mad Xmas trip with my wife to Ireland and discovered a place called the Ring of Stinky!! This is not a euphemism, honestly, it's a real place!!
29 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:41:17
30 Posted 06/09/2019 at 23:56:32
(PS... where were you that you couldn't get the score? The Andaman Islands? Antarctica?)
DK #22, no credit to me, it was on ESPNFC, which I read all day. I loved that quote, best of the day.
Pete #21, that may be the best place name ever, but imagine what it's like to live there and have to confirm your address with some order-taker on the phone. You'll be there all afternoon.
Billy #27, great ones!
31 Posted 07/09/2019 at 00:58:12
32 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:06:56
Well, too many to go on, wonderful evocative, poetic names. However, I will trump them with, Grimsby, Workington and Scunthorpe, add to that, Barrow (on Furness) and Bury, Hull... well, where do you stop?
33 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:19:13
34 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:33:20
It may have something to do with the River Trent running through Stoke. Sorry, mate, you did ask what it was.
35 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:34:45
36 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:09:46
Derek Knox I LOLd heartily! Those names are stupendous! Spankers Hill Wood my favorite. Serious, just how?
Mike Gaynes - Americans named those cities mate!! We won the war, we didnt change it, out people named them. Your history be damned! ‘Merica!
Jay - Ive often wondered the same thing. Theres a ton of Scottish named places in Florida. Weird, but love it. I just imagine like four Scots saying, “this is home. Inverness.”
100 years later theyre packing heat, driving pick up trucks, and blaring country music. 😂
I love humanity.
37 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:11:25
38 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:14:20
39 Posted 07/09/2019 at 02:34:12
40 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:10:29
41 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:14:04
I'm Liverpool born and I once went on a date with a girl born in Liverpool, difference being I'm from Liverpool, UK and she was from Liverpool, New York state.
42 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:32:06
Ive an Uncle, Aunt, and three cousins from Liverpool, NY.
Any chance youve heard of the hard drinking Meaghers?
43 Posted 07/09/2019 at 03:51:35
44 Posted 07/09/2019 at 05:33:26
Your mention of English place names makes a great opportunity for me to bring up one of my favourite authors. Mr Bill Bryson ( an American, who I think still resides over here...and a closet blue to boot.)
His son in law ( an Evertonian who has also brought up Bills grandkids to be blues) I think either contributed on here or GOT.
Anyway, Bill Bryson is one of the funniest writers around and I recommend his very amusing book about Britain called Notes From a Small Island in which he mentions Liverpool as his favourite City.
In it he refers to a number of place names that tickles his fancy including and I give you..Farleigh Wallop.
45 Posted 07/09/2019 at 09:31:26
46 Posted 07/09/2019 at 11:58:40
Jamie @ 38, why the f... would you name a town/City Intercourse? You never know the in's and out's of these place names. :-)
Billy @ 27, the Ring of Stinky wow, it's a good job it's not near to Sally's Bottom or Spanker's Hill Wood, or things could get erm well iffy.
47 Posted 07/09/2019 at 15:03:37
Dave #45, I admire your self-discipline. I couldn't do it. I actually watched BBC's transfer window coverage on a cruise ship in Italy a few years ago.
DK #46, other villages near Intercourse include Blue Ball, Fertility, Mount Joy and Bareville. They were all founded more than two centuries ago by the Pennsylvania Dutch, who traditionally didn't drink or party and therefore had only one activity in mind for those long winter nights.
48 Posted 07/09/2019 at 15:16:10
If ever I knew how to put images into this thread I would add my picture of the Birkenhead Ferry. I never knew the Royal Iris could sail that far.
The next day as I was photographing a bus which said "Birkenhead Transport" or something similar - a car drove past with the number plate EVERTN.
49 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:12:28
50 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:29:06
51 Posted 07/09/2019 at 16:40:22
52 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:01:08
You may find it interesting to know that his father, William Bryson, was a highly respected baseball journalist for the Des Moines Register. He was the last (or close to the last) person to interview Babe Ruth before he died.
53 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:16:26
As a Midwesterner and former sports journo myself, I was familiar with the work of Bryson Sr, who I seem to remember was at the Register for something like 54 years. (We might even have been in the same press box once or twice.) But I didn't know he did the final interview with the Babe!
Thanks for sharing that.
54 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:32:06
55 Posted 07/09/2019 at 17:49:21
56 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:01:56
57 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:04:33
58 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:04:51
My favourites are A Walk in the Woods and Down Under but you could recommend any of his books to anybody with a slight interest in reading and know they weren't going to be disappointed.
My mother who hates all the fuss people make over "celebrities" actually queued up for an autographed book!! She has virtually all of them.
Bill Bryson — celebrity Evertonian No 1.
59 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:13:10
60 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:29:11
61 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:31:24
"I took a train to Liverpool. They were having a festival of litter when I arrived. Citizens had taken time off from their busy activities to add crisp packets, empty cigarette boxes and carrier-bags to the otherwise bland and neglected landscape. They fluttered gaily in the bushes and brought colour and texture to pavements and gutters. And to think that elsewhere we stick these objects in rubbish bags."
This was in the '80s and accurate at the time. I never knew he was a Blue.
62 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:34:08
63 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:36:44
Billy Roberts, funny you should mention signed copies of his books. He is currently getting through signing 10,000 first pages of his latest book. He signs the piles of pages, which then get individually inserted into the books. It's an absolute mission.
64 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:50:28
65 Posted 07/09/2019 at 18:54:46
66 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:04:00
67 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:07:46
Andy #62, did exactly the same thing at college, only it was called "independent study." The authors I chose were Twain and Jack London, whom I'd already read as a child. Easiest three credit-hours I ever earned.
Billy #58, that's quite a claim against Paul McCartney, Stallone and Matt Damon, but I can be persuaded. By the way, I'd recommend the lesser-known "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" if you (and you too, Andy and Ron Marr) want a window on America from some truly hilarious angles. I read it on a 6-hour bus ride in China. Helpless with laughter. My wife was mortified at the bewildered stares from the local Chinese passengers.
Rob #57, actually nobody has ever tried to explain it to me. Care to take up the challenge?
68 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:11:18
69 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:14:32
Rob #68, you got it. I want to go to an away game with you and your posse, so you can teach me over a couple of Guinnesses.
70 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:17:33
71 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:25:28
72 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:27:25
73 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:37:41
74 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:38:15
I am probably one of the very few who actually read his book on Shakespeare (bottom of the list!). I haven't read One Summer, but would imagine that it would be of interest to you as it covers the summer of 1927 America (Babe Ruth's 60 home runs season).
75 Posted 07/09/2019 at 19:56:49
I have Short History in my hand."To Meghan and Chris. Welcome."
Wow, I'm talking to a guy who had a book dedicated to him by my favorite living writer. That's waaaaay cool.
(ummm... "soon to be ex"? I'm sorry.)
One Summer was indeed a terrific book, different from anything I'd read from him before. I wasn't actually a fan of Thunderbolt Kid, although that was more about my touchy perspective on childhood than his writing. I didn't finish it.
Anyway, it's my honor, sir.
76 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:28:12
77 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:29:34
78 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:31:26
Oh yes, I forgot about Rambo and Macca haha, They have had season tickets for years, but Matt Damon??? I didn't know that. So the RS have James Bond and we have Jason Bourne?
We also had David Soul in the 70s at the height of Starsky & Hutch, I always imagine the disbelief of a young Evertonian seeing Hutch going into the main stand, Hutch later chucked us for Arsenal.
Don't give up on us, Baby.
79 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:49:31
I wasn't even supposed to go out that night but had a last-minute change of heart which changed my life. We got engaged 3 months later (absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she had a rich Dad – keeping a straight face – honestly!)
He's a great bloke. He once told me that if I ever split from his daughter he'd still consider me family and allow me to live in the annex (flat above their garage) for free, but then added that I couldn't move in any future wives!
His latest book 'The Body' is going to be his last. He's retiring as soon as he's finished doing the book tours. So make sure you enjoy it as there won't be more!
80 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:51:27
81 Posted 07/09/2019 at 20:54:04
82 Posted 07/09/2019 at 21:14:56
83 Posted 07/09/2019 at 22:29:41
Chris, I already have my Amazon order in for "The Body".
Andy #80, my very tentative plan (pending when/if we "move house", as you lot would say it) is to come over in January for the Hammers game in London on the 18th and the home match with the Barcodes on the 21st. I will email you, Pete, Rob and the rest of the gang when everything is a little clearer. Obviously another get-together will be required.
84 Posted 08/09/2019 at 02:19:05
But, I must add that Paul McCartney did, he was not as dyed in the wool as we are, nevertheless pledged his allegiance to Everton.
Where was he with his multi-millions/billions when we were struggling not that long ago?
Talk is cheap, we all know that, we all do it (possibly) after an alcoholic beverage or two, but generally we don't forget what we have pledged (allegedly) when we are coherent and sober in the morning!
McCartney is not a drinker (or so I am led to believe); what is his excuse?
85 Posted 08/09/2019 at 04:42:49
As for Sir Paul, I guess he thinks there is a difference between supporting the club and buying it. Go figure.
86 Posted 08/09/2019 at 06:56:27
87 Posted 08/09/2019 at 07:54:52
88 Posted 08/09/2019 at 08:50:28
89 Posted 08/09/2019 at 09:05:06
90 Posted 08/09/2019 at 15:05:24
91 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:47:42
Lennon didnt care about soccer at all. But equally a genius.
From what Ive read at any rate. Sans those genius comments, thats opinion. I think McCartney and Lennon were musical masterminds, unparalleled by anyone in modern music history.
92 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:53:33
93 Posted 08/09/2019 at 17:14:21
I recently came across this little homily titled " An Englishman explaining Cricket to a Foreigner".
Make of it what you will - LOL.
"You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.
When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game".
94 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:43:35
Just for you.
You may find this of interest
95 Posted 08/09/2019 at 19:25:03
96 Posted 09/09/2019 at 17:33:59
I had no idea the River Trent ran through Stoke. That explains it, but still?
In America, which is the prism these eyes see through as if you didn't know that already, it's not, "New Orleans on Mississippi" or, "Pittsburgh on Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio".
It's just really weird to these eyes. A wonderful kind of weird, but weird.
Why not just "Stoke"?
Anyways, I'm quite sure there's a ton of civic pride in Stoke, and they love their name. It's just odd to me. God bless 'em.
I associate Tony Pulis and Rory Delap with Stoke more than I do the River Trent. Which says a lot about naivety and lack of knowledge on my part.
Written from near Jacksonville on St Johns.
97 Posted 09/09/2019 at 18:38:38
Stephen #94, that's really interesting. Had no idea. Cheers for finding and posting that.
98 Posted 09/09/2019 at 19:43:29
Stoke is a very common place name in England.
It originates from the Anglo Saxon for "South Farm", apparently.
As well as Stoke on Trent there are:-
Stoke St, Gregory
-: to name but a few.
Some are little more than villages.
Distinctions in place names are, of course, made by folks in America when they refer to London, England, or Paris, France since, to Europeans we all know where London and Paris are (as far as we are concerned) - LOL.
99 Posted 09/09/2019 at 20:01:04
Yes, we throw in the State name usually to distinguish from the world center. Dublin, Ohio springs to mind.
Distinction by location for a common name. Enlightened. I never stop learning things on TW, which is the real lure for me.
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