EFC

Getty Images

Gomes return gives Everton boost despite defeat

Leave a comment

Everton lost the first game of a gauntlet four-game swing, losing 3-2 at Arsenal despite leading inside two minutes of the match. But while Everton left the Emirates without any points, it gained a massive boost with the return of Andre Gomes.

The Portuguese central midfielder, signed from Barcelona, made his return to the field on Sunday off the bench in the 59th minute for his first game since suffering a gruesome injury on November 3 against Tottenham. Gomes appeared to break his leg after a sliding tackle from behind from Heung-Min Son, but in less than four months, Gomes is now back in action.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

“I need to thank everybody. The team, they were great, my supporters, Evertonions, and also in general football supporters, everyone has been wonderful with me,” Gomes said after the Arsenal match. “(It) gives (me) confidence when you feel like you have the support of the people. I just pushed myself to the my limit, I wanted to be back as soon as possible, and I’m glad I have the help of everybody around me.”

This is huge for Everton and head coach Carlo Ancelotti. Without Gomes, and the oft-injured Fabian Delph (though Delph started against Arsenal), Everton really lacked pace and power in the center of midfield. Morgan Schneiderlin is a decent passer but doesn’t have the pace required for the Premier League, and then Ancelotti was dropping Gylfi Sigurdsson further back in midfield to play alongside Schneiderlin or Delph.

With Gomes back in contention for a starting spot, Ancelotti can play Sigurdsson closer to the opposing goal and partner him with either Delph or the still-young Tom Davies, who can do even more running to win the ball back and get it to Gomes.

“He did really well without problem,” Ancelotti said post game. “(He was) very strong in the tackle. The player is really important for us and he will play next game.”

Looking forward, it’s also huge for Everton to get Gomes back because they’re in the middle of one of the season’s toughest stretches. After facing Arsenal today, Everton hosts Manchester United, visits Chelsea, and then hosts Liverpool on Monday, March 16 in the Merseyside Derby.

Report: Deal agreed in principle between Everton, Ancelotti

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton may have hit the jackpot in the coaching carousel as it looks for a replacement for Marco Silva.

According to our partners Sky Sports in the UK, Everton has reached an agreement in principle to hire Carlo Ancelotti as it’s new manager. The latest developments come after reports that Ancelotti met with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in London, with the two sides hammering out a deal through the night.

Should Everton hire Ancelotti, it would be the highest-profile coach the club has had since Howard Kendall, who led the Toffies to two Football League titles in the 1980s.

If true, this would represent a massive coup for Everton, but also ratchet up the pressure on the club. Despite spending tens of millions of dollars in the transfer market over the past few seasons to improve the squad, Everton has continued to underperform against expectations.

With Ancelotti, it will be his first test not coaching a giant club since his first coaching job in 1995 with Serie B Reggiana. Since then, Ancelotti coached Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and of course, Chelsea.

He was fired by Napoli last week in the midst of an up-and-down season that has seen players have a mutiny against upper management, with Ancelotti helpless to stop it.

Ultimately, the fact that Ancelotti picked Everton says a lot about the state of the Big 6 right now, with Arsenal’s job open and Manchester United’s potentially open, should the club’s form overall not improve.

Ancelotti has the chance to get a player like Gylfi Sigurdsson back to his best, and to also see more from players like Richarlison, Yerry Mina, Moise Kean, and Alex Iwobi. But at the same time, it raises expectations for the club. After this season, should Everton finish outside of the fluid top seven, and at least qualify for Europe, it could be considered a disappointment to many fans, considering Ancelotti’s background.

Report: Allardyce in talks with Everton over long-term extension

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton fans probably won’t be happy to read this, but Sam Allardyce is angling for a long-term stay on Merseyside.

Speaking to reporters at Everton’s pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of its match against Stoke City, Allardyce said he’s currently speaking with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri about extending his current contract into the future. Allardyce signed an 18-month contract in November when he took over for Ronald Koeman and interim manager David Unsworth.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

“I’m having talks with him but obviously those talks are confidential,” Allardyce said. “We’re in a difficult period at the moment yes, but we have to try and turn that around on Saturday. It’s my responsibility to get the team to play at a level we know they can play.”

Everton fans have been livid with Allardyce in recent weeks, especially after road defeats to Watford and Burnley, with three losses out of Everton’s last four games.

However, Allardyce has done enough to help bring the once-relegation threatened club above water, as the Toffees sit seven points above the drop zone.

Report: Everton, Leicester City, Brighton interested in NYCFC’s Harrison

Getty Images
1 Comment

Jack Harrison’s MLS season came to an end last Sunday but he could be back on the field in a couple of months.

The Daily Mail reports that Everton, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion all have the New York City FC winger on their radars, joining the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City in watching the 20-year-old. Harrison is currently in England training with the England U-21s ahead of a qualifying match at Ukraine.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

The trio could spring for him in the January transfer window, though it would take a big transfer fee to pry him away from NYCFC and City Football Group. Per the Journal of Sports Administration and Supervision, Harrison’s Generation Adidas contract is a three-year guaranteed deal with two player option years following, meaning still under contract to MLS but is heading into the last year of the guaranteed portion of his deal.

Harrison is coming off his first full season in MLS, starting in 35 of 36 games, finishing with 10 goals and six assists as well as cementing himself as one of the league’s most exciting prospects. Harrison’s form even earned him a call-up to England’s Under-21s, where he featured twice, starting once for the Three Lions in Euro U-21 Championship qualifiers.

Should Harrison join a Premier League club and earn a place in the starting lineup, it would be the latest step in an incredible journey that saw him moved to upstate New York by his mother to ensure he had an education as well as proof that MLS can develop young players for the Premier League again.