With nine titles, Everton are still the fourth club with the highest honors in the English League, only surpassed by Manchester United (20), Liverpool (19) and Arsenal (13). But the latest success came 33 years ago, even before the era of the Premier League. After the bitter taste left by Liverpool’s triumph last season, the Blues are eager to return to the top. For now, they command the standings with a historic start, adding only wins. This Saturday, the victim was Brighton, beaten 4-2.
It was two weeks before FC Porto first became European champions in Vienna, Austria, that Everton won the ninth and final championship in its history. In England, the Heysel Stadium tragedy in Belgium two years earlier, caused by Liverpool hooligans ahead of the Champions League final against Juventus, was still digestible. The disaster left 39 dead and an unknown number injured and led to the suspension of England teams from all UEFA competitions for five years.
That same year, a few weeks after Everton’s party, a child was born in the city of Rosario, Argentina, who would mark football forever, called Lionel Messi. And alongside, Brazil would celebrate the third and last title of Nélson Piquet in Formula 1, with the shadow of Senna Ayrton’s successor on the horizon.
Since then, the only (weak) consolation for ‘blues’ fans has been the long fast for the titles of the main English competition which also passed through Liverpool, with which the fans of the city share. A fast that ended last season in style, Everton again disappointing its supporters, with a humble 12th place.
The season started with a lot of anticipation and with Portugal’s Marco Silva at the helm, but poor results precipitated his replacement by experienced Carlo Ancelotti just before Christmas.
This season, beset by the success of the neighbor, the biggest shareholder of the club, the Anglo-Iranian investor Farhad Moshiri wants more. So far, one of Everton’s biggest achievements in this transfer market has been convincing Colombian James Rodríguez to continue his career at Goodison Park, which was stagnant at Real Madrid.
???? | Even his interceptions are classy … ?? @ jamesdrodriguez #EVEBHA pic.twitter.com/5Vp2PWAEel
– Everton (@Everton) October 3, 2020
The striker arrived at zero cost, after the press speculated on a transfer of around 25 million euros. And the good news is, he’s committed to going back to the good times. This Saturday he scored two of his side’s goals and added three in four Premier League appearances.
The 29-year-old striker arrived in Europe with FC Porto from Banfield Argentina in the 2010-11 season. His exhibitions in Portugal have whetted the appetite of Monaco, which paid 45 million to hire him in the summer of 2013, after having joined the principality with the “dragon” João Moutinho.
Protagonist of Colombia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, James lost the lead to Real Madrid and offered 75 million euros to the Monegasques. In the Spanish capital he started well, but was not as happy as he would have liked, ending up on loan at Bayern Munich, before returning to Zidane’s side last season. After 14 games and a goal scored, the South American will have convinced Real to release him for free.
For this, it was worth the influence of Carlo Ancelotti, who appreciates the qualities of James. He coached the Madrid giant when hiring the midfielder / striker (and occupied Bayern’s bank when the Colombian was loaned there in 2017-18). He also lived with the Italian coach his best period in the Spanish team, at a time when he had Cristiano Ronaldo as a colleague. In that first year (2014-15), he scored 17 goals in 46 games. The best time of your career.
Ancelotti now wants to regain the brilliance of South America, without the pressure of recent years. The move worked well for the striker who was named the Premier League’s best player last month.
“As everyone knows I played little last year so I talked to Carlo and I think it’s good for me to be able to play again,” said James upon arrival at Liverpool. . “I also see a club with fans and passion. When i spoke to her [Ancelotti], said yes. It wasn’t, “Well, I’ll think about it and then I’ll say it. I said yes immediately. It was the right thing for me. Time sustains it.
In Everton’s attack, James also inspired 23-year-old Calvert-Lewin. The England striker also scored on Saturday and has nine goals in six matches.
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With four wins in the first four rounds of the league, it was Everton’s best start to the Premier League season. But with seven victories in all competitions, after scoring 24 goals and conceding eight, the historic record stands out even more.
I am happy with my first doublet in the Premier League. ????? well played guys ?? @Everton pic.twitter.com/SorUFJtGDG
– James Rodríguez (@jamesdrodriguez) October 3, 2020
The next day, Ancelotti’s team will receive the Liverpool neighbor and we will soon see how far the ambitions can go.