What The Papers Say – 23 October

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Friday’s newspapers unanimously pick up on Carlo Ancelotti’s interview with evertonfc.com on Thursday.

The Daily Mail features Ancelotti’s comments on the expected absence of James Rodriguez from Everton’s visit to Southampton on Sunday.

Everton manager Ancelotti also ruled Seamus Coleman out of the game at St Mary’s Stadium but intimated fellow right-back Jonjoe Kenny could be available following an ankle injury.

“Unfortunately, James had a problem during the game,” said Ancelotti.

“He had a mistimed tackle with Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of the game and I think he will not be available for the game against Southampton.”

The injury sustained by Liverpool defender Van Dijk in the same match following a collision with Jordan Pickford prompted a rush of coverage.

And the Daily Mirror is among the publications including Ancelotti’s observations.

“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” said Ancelotti.

“Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.

'There was this contact with Jordan Pickford, it was mistimed contact.

“But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.

“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.

“To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much. Virgil van Dijk knows this. Jordan is really sad, really disappointed [that Van Dijk is injured].”

Everton’s strong start to the campaign continues to garner attention.

Former Leeds United midfielder Johnny Giles, twice a league title winner at Elland Road, told Irish outlet Off The Ball: "A big, big plus for Everton is having Dominic Calvert-Lewin doing what he is doing.

“He is an old-fashioned centre-forward – big, strong, brave, and he is getting the supply.

"Ancelotti is getting the ball up to him any chance he gets – corner kicks, free kicks and getting the ball wide.

"I believe Duncan Ferguson is working with him, and he has got the confidence as well. He had this reputation of being a good lad, but he didn't score goals.

"Now that he has a few under his belt, it gives him confidence to know that he can go and do it. He's a game lad.

"I think Everton could be the nearest team to Liverpool this season. The only thing is they might need a couple of players; if they get injuries, Ancelotti is a bit thin on players.

"I think Everton are a real side now."

Southampton striker Che Adams, meanwhile, has also noted the form of Calvert-Lewin, who has 11 goals for club and country this season.

Adams, one year Calvert-Lewin’s senior at 24, was with the Everton player at Sheffield United for close to two years before the pair exited Bramall Lane in short order in August 2016.

Previewing his team’s clash with Everton this weekend, Englishman Adams told the Southern Daily Echo: “He is a very, very good player and he is getting his rewards now, what he deserves, which is scoring goals for England.

"You could tell he had something, enough to play the way he plays now. He is very athletic, very dynamic.

"We will need to keep him quiet, then anything can happen."

A former Everton striker in Louis Saha, meanwhile, has spoke to FourFourTwo about his old club’s form this season.

Frenchman Saha, who scored 35 goals in 115 Everton appearances following a transfer from Manchester United in 2008 said: “I think they’ve improved through being more consistent and I hope they can carry on keeping this consistency going through the season.

“I think it is probably still too early for them to challenge the top four – if they get one or two injuries, then it might affect them a little bit. The top four still have bigger and better squads.

“I think they’ll finish just outside the top four.”