Everton pulled off a major a coup by bringing in famed Italian head coach Carlo Ancelotti. As soon as the Blues captured the Italians signature there was a major meltdown in the mainstream media.
Silly stuff like ‘Ancelotti is accustomed to dealing with players of a higher quality’ or ‘Ancelotti is finished because he joined Everton’. However, the biggest proof that the 60-year-old is a good fit for Everton is results on the pitch. In that respect, it is so far so good, as the Toffees have won both their games under the Italian.
Team playing with confidence
Most people knew that Everton had quality players in their squad. The biggest challenge was getting the best out of those players. What it needed was a high-class coach. Unfortunately, Marco Silva was not that coach. He is a nice guy and he may well enjoy success in the future elsewhere, but he failed at Everton.
Ancelotti, and to a certain extent Duncan Ferguson, have instilled confidence within those Everton players. Every player seemed to want the ball in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Newcastle. Under Silva, players looked frightened when the ball came near them.
There was some nice one-touch passing against the Magpies and a real belief that the team would emerge victorious, which was never there in the previous regime.
Tactical changes during a game
I do not want this to sound like I am slagging off Marco Silva. This is not a Silva bashing exercise, but Ancelotti made key tactical changes against Newcastle that effected the game.
His game management was simply superb. It should not be a surprise considering Ancelotti’s CV that he has such tactical nous. However, as Evertonian’s, we are not accustomed to the team’s head coach making tactical moves that actually affect the game.
The Italian also seems to have more than a Plan A, which is always good, as previous bosses have seemingly stuck to the same tactics. They have also failed to make such key changes that mean the difference between success and failure.
The Everton job is a hard one that’s for sure. However, for a boss of Ancelotti’s tactical nous and experience, it seems like it could be very easy. Maybe the media will realise that Everton and Carlo Ancelotti are not the strange fit that many believed they were on his appointment.
Big tests in the next couple of games
The victories over Burnley and Newcastle have moved the Toffees well clear of the relegation zone and into the top half of the table. Suddenly the Merseysider’s are looking up rather than down. It is early days for Ancelotti at Everton, though. The games against the Clarets and the Magpies, while tricky were not ridiculously hard. There will be tougher games to come for Ancelotti and his team.
In fact, the Toffees face a trip to reigning champions Manchester City on New Years Day, a game they are odds of 8/1 to win. The trip to the Etihad Stadium is followed by the short trip across Stanley Park to face bitter-rivals Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.
Ancelotti will need all of his tactical nous to pick up anything from the two tough away games. However, whatever happens in the next few games, it seems there is now a more positive mentality at the club, which can only mean brighter days for the boys in blue.
What is Carlo Ancelotti’s aims for Everton this season?
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