A year after his arrival on the bench of Everton, Carlo Ancelotti has put the Toffees back in the center of attention in the Premier League. This Monday (9 p.m.), Everton welcomes Manchester City as Liverpool’s runner-up.
Boxing Day rhymes with festivities. And the Everton players offered a nice present to their supporters by aligning a fourth victory in a row on the lawn of Sheffield United (1-0). A short but precious victory which allows the Toffees to take second place in the championship, just behind neighbor and rival Liverpool, which sits in the lead with three points ahead. Above all, they offered a nice birthday present to their coach, who had started his term at Everton with an identical victory against Burnley (1-0), already on December 26.
His arrival on the banks of the Mersey may have surprised, his results less. “We have one of the best coaches in the world, relishes central defender Michael Keane, we have no excuse not to succeed.” The first season under the orders of Ancelotti was not however a clear success, with a record of 8 victories in 21 matches in the heart of a season it is true truncated. A first exercise ended in an anonymous 12th place with only three victories after the “restart”.
Reunion with James Rodriguez
But Everton has strengthened in the offseason, buying smart and making nice shots, like midfielders Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) and the Brazilian Allan (Naples) for less than 50 million euros. The big blow remains the signing of James Rodriguez, free from Real Madrid. An arrival that would not have been possible without Carlo Ancelotti, the “Mister” being a real mentor for the Colombian. “I had a great season with him,” the former Monegasque remembered when he was presented last September. He knows me by heart, just like his staff, things should go very well. ” And so it is, James splitting three goals and three assists in his first five outings, to the point of being named among the contenders for the title of best player of the month in the Premier League. It must be said that the Italian has designed a system for his jewel, with whom he is reunited for the third time in his career (a season at Real Madrid, a few months at Bayern Munich), by aligning him as a false winger in his 4-3-3 where the Colombian plays with a freedom of movement that befits his appetite to evolve in the axis.
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A bond has been created with the supporters
After a thunderous start to the season (four wins in a row), which allowed the Toffees to receive rival Liverpool as Premier League leaders (2-2, 17 October), Ancelotti and his players put on a few poor performances for fall into line. “Carletto” also lost James, injured calf and still absent against City, Lucas Digne, at the level found in Everton, as well as the Brazilians Allan and Richarlison, shot in the head against Manchester United in the Cup (December 23). Not enough to call the ambitions of his team into question. “The team has a fantastic state of mind,” said Ancelotti after the victory in Sheffield. The players are very motivated, especially our excellent recruits. ” A status that of excellent rookie that fans of Everton would readily confer on him, who appreciate his natural outgoing city dweller always ready to be enlightened on every nook and cranny of the city, as reported by the Daily Mail. Supporters who will be of great help against Manchester City while the club can count on 2,000 privileged in the stands of Goodison Park on Monday (9 p.m.).
“If we are second in the Premier League, we owe it in large part to the state of mind of the players as well as their ambition, their motivation.” A state of mind magnified by a leading December with home victories against Chelsea and Arsenal interspersed with success on the Leicester lawn before the narrow success at Sheffield. A success acquired at the end of the match thanks to the boot of Gylfi Sigurdsson, vice-captain successfully pulled back a notch by the transalpine coach. The players have been growing steadily since Ancelotti’s arrival, like the neo-international Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Premier League’s second-best scorer with 11 goals. “We are not a top team, but rather a strong team,” summed up Ancelotti. A new favorable result against the 2018 and 2019 England champions would suggest otherwise.