Everton made it five wins in five games to start the 2020/21 season yesterday, beating Crystal Palace 2-1 away. Carlo Ancelotti has already picked up more road wins in the short time he’s been with the Blues than his predecessor Marco Silva managed in the 18 months he was here, though with game being played behind closed doors some of the shine gets taken off that.
Speaking in his post-match interviews with the media though, Ancelotti wanted to focus on one particular player. Club captain Seamus Coleman has been a faithful servant to the club since his £60,000 move from Sligo Rovers over a decade ago, and the veteran manager put him on a lofty pedestal for his workman-like qualities.
“Seamus is doing really well. He is an example for all the others of how you need to be: the attitude, the spirit - every day.
“I’ve had a lot of captains in my career but how Seamus expresses his love for the shirt is really top. He is a great captain, honestly. I don’t want to forget anyone [I have worked with] but he is up there as a captain with Paulo Maldini, John Terry and Sergio Ramos.”
As a player the 31-year-old has had to reinvent himself as well, with new signing and superstar James Rodriguez slotting in ahead of him. The Colombian international appears to have license to roam, putting more strain on the Irish international defending his side of the pitch. But not only has Coleman done well there with the defensive cover provided by another new signing Abdoulaye Doucoure, he has also continued to provide an attacking threat on the other side of the pitch as was evidenced yesterday when he laid on the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener off a sumptuous pass from James that unlocked the Palace backline.
Ancelotti does not want to get carried away by the Blues’ hot start, insisting that they have to keep working hard.
“If I have to judge the period, I think we’ve done really well. We have a new squad, with new players and they adapted really well.
“The start of this season was fantastic but I think we have to keep going to think to the next game, to try to improve and be focused there.
“I’m really pleased for what we did in this first period of the season.”