Jürgen Klopp

Carlo Ancelotti Would Like to Talk About Crosby

They did not want to live in one of the luxury apartments in the city’s center: They have three dogs — a Pomeranian, a Jack Russell/Poodle cross, and one of lineage Ancelotti has not yet committed to memory — and so prefer a bit of open space.

Everton has not beaten its city rival in the Premier League in a decade, but it goes into this weekend’s fixture top of the nascent table , unbeaten this season, its neighbor wounded by a humiliating 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa last time out.

Ancelotti could have been forgiven, then, for wanting to talk only about the work he has done to revive Everton, the promise his team is showing, the renewed sense of optimism and ambition he has fostered.

But — though he happily discussed all of that — he was also happy to talk about, in no particular order: the origins of and appropriate nomenclature for Parmesan cheese; whether dogs bark in a specific language; the Netflix documentary series “The Cuba Libre Story”; “Game of Thrones”; and, of course, Crosby.

None of this is irrelevant to understanding how it came to be that Ancelotti, winner of three Champions League trophies and coach of some of the world’s finest teams, finds himself — at 61 — trying to restore Everton to its former glories, and doing a far better job of it than many expected.

It is 21 years since he took charge of Juventus, after cutting his teeth at Reggiana and Parma — the two sides, it turns out, of the great Parmesan cheese debate, the only subject on which Ancelotti feels the need to choose his words especially carefully — and he has had a seat at European soccer’s top table ever since.

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