Everton ban The Sun over 'rascist' article

Monday, 17 Apr, 2017

The Sun is facing growing pressure to sack its columnist Kelvin MacKenzie amid the row over comments he made about the Everton footballer Ross Barkley.

But he was influential on the pitch against Burnley and it was his shot that deflected in off Michael Keane and Ben Mee to put the Toffees 2-1 ahead in the 71st minute.

"I had no doubt about selecting Ross", said Koeman.

"These things can happen". It's not ideal but, character-wise, he was still out there for the Academy Day this week and joined in. "He's just a normal lad who wants to play football". "Even in a really hard situation, he did that, and it was really positive".

Player ratingsEverton: Joel Robles: 4, Mason Holgate: 5, Ashley Williams: 5, Phil Jagielka: 6, Leighton Baines: 6, Morgan Schneiderlin: 6, Idrissa Gana Gueye: 6, Ross Barkley: 8, Tom Davies: 6, Kevin Mirallas: 5, Romelu Lukaku: 6.

"Mo played well", the Dutchman told the club's official website. Nothing ever seems to get to him. I think it is what happens in life.

Uncertainty surrounds the future of Barkley, who has yet to agree an extension to a contract that expires at the end of next season.

The midfielder was hit on a night out last weekend following Everton's win against Leicester City.

Barkely - an England global - was punched twice in an "unprovoked" nightclub attack last weekend.

The paper's former editor used his weekly column on Friday to compare the Merseyside club's star midfielder, whose grandfather is Nigerian, to a gorilla and to make contemptuous remarks about the people of Liverpool.

"The reality is that at £60,000 a week and being both thick and single, he is an attractive catch in the Liverpool area, where the only men with similar pay packets are drug dealers and are therefore not at nightclubs, as they are often guests of Her Majesty."

Earlier on Thursday the mayor of Liverpool called on Everton football club to ban Sun journalists from press conferences.

Everton will look to continue their fantastic 2017 home form as they face Burnley at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. Inside the stadium, supporters displayed a banner featuring Barkley.

"He is getting to the stage now where he is a man and not a boy". "But he dealt with it really well and showed today he was focused". He's a bit phasey at times.

As a fan, I feel like Alistair Brownlee, desperate to help his staggering brother over the finishing line as those last few yards seemed insurmountable.

MacKenzie later responded: "I had no idea of Ross Barkley's family background and nor did anybody else".

- Only one team in Premier League history have had fewer points away from home after 17 Premier League away games than Burnley this season (Derby - 3 points in 2007/08).

"His manager Ronald Koeman will be impressed with how he's handled the off-the-field distractions this week".