Post by Everton News. on Oct 24, 2020 19:15:06 GMT
Everton’s Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina says uniting with compatriot James Rodriguez at Goodison Park is a source of “great joy”.
Mina signed for Everton from Barcelona in the summer of 2018 and was joined at the Club last month by James, who is making a blistering start to his Premier League career following a transfer from Real Madrid.
The South American duo started every match as Everton won four and drew one of their opening five league fixtures.
Everton put their unbeaten start on the line at Southampton on Sunday, with James fighting to overcome a haematoma to feature.
Mina and James have played together for their national team on 17 occasions.
When James delivered a free-kick for Mina to score against Brighton & Hove Albion this month it was the third time the pair have combined for a goal in their careers.
“It is a great joy to be able to play alongside James, he is like my brother,” said Mina.
“He is not just a good person who keeps me focused, he is somebody who can professionally help me.
“He brings something to my life. It is great sharing every day with him.
“Hopefully, we can achieve our objectives together.
“I thank God for giving us the opportunity to share this experience and to enjoy working together.
“We spend a lot of time together, socially. I go to eat or to distract ourselves from football.
“But when we need to focus, we focus.”
Mina is three games short of 50 Premier League appearances and could potentially reach the landmark before jetting off for World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay and Ecuador next month.
He is in line to maintain his central defensive partnership with Michael Keane against Southampton this weekend.
Everton must wait to see if James will have the opportunity to add to his three goals and three assists this term on the south coast.
Mina is confident Everton can compensate for his countryman’s absence if needs be – with one position in Carlo Ancelotti’s forward line already up for grabs because of a suspension for Richarlison.
“The reason for our good start is we have been working really hard together,” said Mina.
“We have been compact and tight-knit on the pitch and in training.
“Our union is key to this good start.
“The manager will make sure we are prepared, we will make sure the person who comes in can take their opportunity.
“When we have players missing, it is a chance for others.
“That is what we do as a team, we cover each other.”
Mina had scant opportunity to impress Italian manager Ancelotti towards the end of last season, starting only two of Everton’s final 11 games, primarily because of injury niggles.
He was, though, heavily involved during the period when Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted eight goals in 10 league games from Boxing Day 2019.
Striker Calvert-Lewin has improved his ratio even further this season, scoring 10 times in seven games – seven in five in the Premier League.
Duelling with the 23-year-old every day gives Mina an insight into the challenge opposing defenders encounter when trying to shackle Everton’s relentless centre-forward.
“I really enjoy marking him [in training], it demands a lot,” said Mina.
“His movement is difficult to follow.
“When I mark him, it is a special moment, because he is a special player.
“It means I am more prepared when I face other opponents.
“When we train, I go in 100 per cent, I go in hard.
“You train as you play.
“But Dominic is a great person, very happy.
“It is great to have him as part of the family.
“We have a great family here and I am enjoying it.”
Ancelotti declared himself “really pleased” with Mina’s performances this season when speaking to the media in advance of Everton’s visit to Southampton.
And the respect between the two men is mutual.
“The boss is a very special person,” added Mina.
“He gives you the love you sometimes need, personally and from a sporting perspective."
Post by Everton News. on Oct 25, 2020 11:32:02 GMT
GODFREY REVEALS ANCELOTTI MESSAGE BEFORE FIRST EVERTON START
Ben Godfrey says Everton will “reach for the stars” under Carlo Ancelotti – but the Club’s Italian manager is delivering daily reminders of the focus required to sustain a challenge at the Premier League summit.
Defender Godfrey made his Everton debut as a substitute in last weekend’s drawn Merseyside derby following a transfer-deadline-day move from Norwich City.
Everton visit Southampton on Sunday aiming for a sixth unbeaten Premier League match this term.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday that Godfrey will fill the right-back position he occupied after coming on against Liverpool following an injury to Seamus Coleman, who consequently misses this weekend’s fixture. Jonjoe Kenny, meanwhile, is back training after an ankle problem but is not yet ready to play again.
Godfrey will travel to the south coast following his first full week’s training with the Club after linking up with his new teammates only days before his bow.
“You have to have that mindset of reaching for the stars – but… it doesn’t happen magically,” said Godfrey.
“You have to work hard every day and earn that right – and that is instilled in us every day.
“[The manager’s message is] ‘By all means enjoy doing well but it is not going to be easy [to sustain]'.
“You have to consistently work hard and grind out results.
“There is a great feeling around the place.
“But when it is work time, it is work time.
“It is not all laughing and joking.
“To stay at the top of the league, you have to work hard.”
Godfrey’s career trajectory has plotted an upwards path since the player's first senior appearance for York City in League 2 as a 17-year-old in August 2015.
He quickly moved to Norwich and following a successful loan in League One with Shrewsbury Town in 2017/18 – when the Shropshire club were play-off finalists – returned to Carrow Road for a substantial role in Norwich’s 2018/19 Championship title-winning campaign.
Even starting out with York, Godfrey maintains his goal was to play Premier League football.
His first top-flight experience finished with Norwich’s relegation last term.
But the player insists that campaign qualified as an invaluable learning experience – and the opportunity to maintain his curve with Everton was irresistible.
“I have been really fortunate that football has been an upwards journey so far,” said Godfrey.
“Football is not always like that and I am really appreciative of my journey.
“I am really enjoying it and trying to learn every day.
“It has been great, from York City, to going on loan, then being promoted with Norwich.
“Even the relegation season, I learned so much, I look back on it and it benefits me.
“As a young player, it has to be your aim to play in the Premier League.
"If you can’t imagine yourself at the top, you are doing something wrong.
“It is not always an easy journey and might not seem possible
“But I always believed, if I worked hard enough, I’d give myself the best chance possible.
“As soon as I heard about Everton being interested, it was massive for me.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down and it is an absolute honour to play for this club."
Godfrey admits there was “no better occasion” than a Merseyside derby for his first Everton outing.
The teams were level at 1-1 when Godfrey replaced Republic of Ireland international Coleman.
And the England Under-21 player insists Everton retained their belief after falling behind a second time before levelling through Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 10th Club goal this season.
“Dom works unbelievably hard, he will stay out after training and practice bits he thinks he needs to develop,” said Godfrey, who twice encountered Calvert-Lewin when playing for Norwich last season.
“He absolutely deserves the form he is in now.
“He has all sorts of attributes: he is quick, he can leap and he can finish.
“He is young and willing to learn and it is great to be playing with him.
“He works hard, when the ball goes behind you as a defender he is on your back.
“It is a great strength of his that he doesn’t give defenders a minute’s break.
“He deserves the success he’s getting because of his work rate.
“Last week, when we were behind there was always a feeling we would get one back.
“It is such a confidence boost to know you have the ability and players to get a goal when you need it.
“But we had to swiftly move our focus to the next game.”
Godfrey, who counts former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand as a footballing mentor, reiterated his desire to play anywhere on the pitch for Everton.
The vast majority of his football for Norwich – including all 30 Premier League appearances – came in the middle of defence.
But after his battlefield promotion against Liverpool, Godfrey’s efforts have been channelled into reconnecting with the right-back position he occupied only twice in senior football before last week.
Godfrey’s Norwich lost 2-1 at Southampton last season, the hosts’ goals scored by striker Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand, the left-back expected to line up on the same flank as Godfrey this weekend.
“Southampton are dangerous and well organised,” cautioned Godfrey.
“They work hard and have some real quality and keep a very high tempo.
“We have trained hard all week and will give ourselves the best chance possible – but it won’t be easy by any means.
“I am here to learn and give 100 per cent, no matter where I am on the pitch.
“Whether that’s centre-back, right-back or midfield, wherever the manager puts me… I will try to do my best for the boys.”
On receiving counsel from six-times Premier League winner Ferdinand, Godfrey added: “Rio talks to some of us young players and goes through our clips and games.
“He’ll see things I should have done or did well.
“It is massive credit to him he takes the time to do that. It is a massive help.
"He is always there to go through my game and try to develop me.
“He was a world class centre-back and has so much knowledge and experience, which can help me.
“I am really appreciative of what he does for me.”
Post by Everton News. on Oct 25, 2020 13:02:38 GMT
Alex Iwobi and Gylfi Sigurdsson both start for Everton as manager Carlo Ancelotti makes three changes for his side’s meeting with Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday.
There is a full Everton debut for Ben Godfrey, who features at right-back following his impressive appearance from the bench in last week’s Merseyside derby.
Iwobi comes in for the suspended Richarlison and is poised for a role on the left of Everton’s front three.
James Rodriguez has overcome a haematoma and begins on the right of that forward trio, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, seeking to add to his seven Premier League goals this term, through the middle.
Icelander Sigurdsson captains Everton and is joined in midfield by Brazilian Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, ever present in the league this term.
Michael Keane and Yerry Mina continue in the centre of defence, while Lucas Digne plays at left-back and former Norwich City player Godfrey fills the spot vacated by the injured Seamus Coleman on the right of Everton’s back four.
Jordan Pickford in goal plays his 120th straight Premier League match for the Club.
Midfielders Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies are among Everton’s substitutes.
They are joined on the bench by attacking pair Bernard and Anthony Gordon, full-back Niels Nkounkou and goalkeeper Robin Olsen.