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What we love about Everton

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Everton.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We head to the blue side of Liverpool for this post.


(Almost) All The Way Up: The Toffees are one of six teams to have not been relegated in the Premier League era, and the club feels like its brimming with potential at the beginning of so many seasons. The fits and starts of late have only served to fuel hope for a return to glory; Remember: Everton won the league twice in the 1980s and claimed a Cup Winners’ Cup, too, when they outlasted Dublin, Internacional Bratislava, Fortuna Sittard, Bayern Munich, and finally Rapid Vienna to lift the silverware in 1985 at Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam. With a young local brood — Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate — coming into its own alongside Richarlison and Lucas Digne, can the Toffees ride back into Europe?

Commitment to Community: This club puts a special stamp on being a part of its community through Everton in the Community. We especially love “The Goodison Sleepout,” where the Toffees’ U-23s join members of the communities in spending the night at stadium to raise money for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It’s an incredible organization and an inspiration for community-based clubs around the world.

Everton
(Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

 


The Merseyside Derby: No club feels right without its top villain, and Liverpool and Everton wage at least two intense battles a year between Anfield and Goodison Park. This part of the post feels a little goofy at the moment given the Reds dominance over the derby — The Reds have 11 wins and 10 draws since Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta keyed a 2010 win at Goodison — but make no mistake about the atmosphere between these two. The potential is there for it to stand alone as the most important derby on a league calendar.

Tim Howard: Yeah, this fellas hasn’t been with the Toffees for some time, but he left Goodison with the third-most appearances in club history. Leighton Baines has since past Howard’s 413 appearances but the American goalkeeper is safely in the Toffees’ top four unless Phil Jagielka transfers back (Seamus Coleman is 103 behind). Howard was so, so good.

Everton
(Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Watch Live: Chelsea v. Everton

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Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as both teams are desperate to seal European qualification this season.

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Frank Lampard was managed by Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea as the Italian coach won a Premier League title and an FA Cup at Stamford Bridge and there is plenty of respect for him from the Blues faithful.

The job Ancelotti has done since he arrived at Everton in December deserves plenty of respect too as he’s lost just twice in 10 Premier League games and the Toffees have surged up the table and away from the relegation zone and into European contention.

Heading into this game just eight points separate the teams as Chelsea sit in fourth place and Everton are in 12th but can jump into the top 10 with a win.

In team news Chelsea make six changes from the team which drew at Bournemouth last weekend as Kepa Arrizabalaga returns in goal after playing well in the FA Cup win over Liverpool, while Billy Gilmour, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Willian and Ross Barkley all start.

Everton make three changes from the team which drew against Man United last week as Lucas Digne, Djibril Sidibe and Bernard come in for Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Theo Walcott.

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Ighalo takes pay-cut to join Man Utd: ‘I don’t care how much’

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Odion Ighalo has confirmed what was widely speculated following his loan move to Manchester United: that he took a considerable pay-cut upon leaving Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, and he was quite happy to do so.

[ MORE: PL expected to realign transfer window to rest of Europe ]

To hear Ighalo tell the story, it was a frantic right hours from the moment Man United reached out to his agent until the deal was completed and announced just before the transfer deadline. The 30-year-old Nigerian international revealed that he instructed his agent to get the deal done, at whatever cost — quotes from the Guardian:

“At 11 p.m. in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that. ‘My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen’ and all that.

“So, they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7 a.m., Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there.

“From 11 p.m. there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me. But I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here.

“He said, ‘You’re going to get a pay cut to go to United.’ I said, ‘I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay cut. I know that, make it happen.'”

He’s hardly the only one who’s thrilled by moving to a club the size and scope of United.

“When we were young back in Nigeria, we used to watch the Premier League on TV a lot, when the likes of Andy Cole used to play. People support Man United a lot back there in Nigeria, so I developed that love, because all of my siblings, they are Man United fans. I never thought this was going to happen.”

Pep on record-collecting Aguero: ‘He’s a legend and legends rise’

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Sergio Aguero had a hand in four of six Manchester City goals in a 6-1 blowout of Aston Villa on Sunday.

The performance etched his name twice more in the Premier League record books, as he became the league’s all-time leading foreign-born scorer (177) and hat trick hero (12).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Those records were held by Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer, which is nice.

Aguero reacted with humility to the achievement, but Pep Guardiola sang the praises of his Argentine mega finisher.

“He’s a legend and legends rise tonight. Thierry Henry is one most incredible players to play in this league and he will be proud that Sergio is the guy who breaks his record. He was a legend and Sergio is the same. To score this amount of goals means you have done for many years a lot of good things. He’s been consistent for many years and so we are proud of him.

“He is the most incredible person. You cannot achieve this without being a guy who loves to play football.”

Aguero is tied with Frank Lampard for the fourth-most goals in league history with 177, both 10 behind Andy Cole. Next is Wayne Rooney with 208 and Alan Shearer’s absurd 260. It seems likely Aguero will finish his time in England in third and it could happen this season.

Aguero’s .69 goals per game is higher than every player to score 100 Premier League goals, though Henry (.68) and contemporary Harry Kane (.68) are just behind.

Everton edge past Brighton

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Everton made it three wins in their last four Premier League games as Carlo Ancelotti’s side are pushing for European qualification.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Richarlison‘s moment of magic in the first half sealed the win, as Brighton went close in the second half but couldn’t grab an equalizer.

With the win Everton are in 11th on 28 points, while Brighton are in 14th on 24 points.


3 things we learned

1. Defensive improvement continues: Everton have conceded three goals in their last five PL games and that has been the key to their recent success. Ancelotti hooked off two attacking players for Delph and Coleman and although some Everton fans were not happy it made sense. Everton need to be sensible and if they are, a top 10 finish is very likely.

2. Richarlison’s magic returns: A moment of brilliance from the Brazilian won the game for Everton and is now back to his best. After a run of five games without a goal he’s now scored in back-to-back PL games and aside from his goalscoring he looks hungry.

3. Seagulls sinking: Brighton continue to play well but they have won just once in their last seven games in the Premier League. That is a worry. They just aren’t clinical enough and they face Villa, Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham in their next four games. They need some big wins in those games to put them back on track.

Man of the Match: Richarlison – Delivered the moment of quality which won the game and was dangerous throughout.


Brighton started well but there was early VAR controversy as Lewis Dunk appeared to pull back Theo Walcott, but after a review no penalty kick was awarded to the hosts.

Brighton grew into the game as Alireza Jahanbakhsh looked lively but Everton were always looked the most likely to score first.

Richarlison first forced Mat Ryan into a save down low and moments later he put the Toffees 1-0 up.

Lucas Digne found Richarlison in the box and after a lovely piece of control and a clever turn the Brazilian curled home to make it 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

In the second half Brighton improved and had plenty of the ball as Leandro Trossard hit the crossbar with a stunning effort.

Everton thought they had wrapped up the win late on as a corner hit the post, then another effort struck the woodwork before Calvert-Lewin bundled the ball home.

However, VAR intervened as Calvert-Lewin clearly handled the ball. Glenn Murray twice went close late on as he forced Pickford into a smart save and the Seagulls forward was then just off target.