Everton to silence air-raid siren out of respect for Ukraine internationals | Everton

Everton are expected to silence the air-raid siren that sounds before matches at Goodison Park when Manchester City visit on Saturday out of consideration for the Ukraine internationals Vitalii Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko. The move comes amid support from several Premier League clubs for players affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

West Ham’s manager David Moyes has given the former Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko time off after the attack on his country, with the winger not in the right frame of mind to play against Wolves on Sunday.

“He’s not in a very good position at the moment,” Moyes said. “We’ve given him a few days off. We’ll do all we can to help him – it’s a really difficult time for him and his family. I spoke with him yesterday and he was upset, which you can imagine. We just hope his family keep safe.”

Two Ukraine internationals could be involved when Everton host the Premier League leaders. The club has sounded an air-raid siren before its traditional Z-Cars theme as a way of galvanising the Goodison crowd in recent seasons but that is likely to be dropped given the situation in Ukraine.

Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko
Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko playing together at World Cup 2022 group D qualifying match. Photograph: Thibault Camus/AP

Mykolenko, who joined Everton only last month from Dynamo Kyiv, has written on social media about the worry of being unable to help his parents back home. Several Everton supporters’ groups have produced a banner that features the 22-year-old, his country’s colours and the words “We stand with Ukraine” for Saturday’s game.

Frank Lampard says a decision on whether to select Mykolenko against City will be down to the player. “I wouldn’t try to force him into a direction,” the Everton manager said. “The decision will be his. The feeling I get is that by coming here and feeling our support in training, it is a small period where his mind is not on other things. That is what it feels like at the minute and I’ll keep tabs on that day by day.

“In terms of us as a club, we’re here to support him in any way we can. He just needs to know we are here for him. How we can help with his family, all we can do at this point is support him. He’s been good, training well. Training is a mini-escape in terms of what is going on in his head. In tough moments it can help a young lad in a tough position. I know there are many others in tougher positions but he has been fine.”

Zinchenko, who has captained Ukraine, took part in a vigil outside Manchester Central Library on Thursday along with hundreds of his compatriots.

Pep Guardiola said: “What would you do if someone attacked the UK? How would you react? How would you feel? It’s what he feels [to protest]. Unfortunately around the world there are many wars – this is a new one. It’s more than a pity because innocent people are dying when these innocent people just want to live in peace.

“He is worried. What would we feel if in our country, where we were born and have family and friends, innocent people are being killed? How will you feel? I guess that’s what he feels. Of course, the team and the club is close to him, unconditionally.”

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The City manager confirmed the 25-year-old was available for the game at Goodison. “Oleks is an incredible, strong guy,” he said. “Of course it’s not easy at the moment but in training yesterday he was brilliant so he’s ready to play in case he has to.”

Everton, meanwhile, have appointed Kevin Thelwell as their new director of football. The 48-year-old joins from New York Red Bulls, where he was head of sport, and was previously sporting director at Wolves. He replaces Marcel Brands, who left the relegation-threatened club in December.

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