Assessing Carlo Ancelotti in this hiatus time

Martin O'Connor 19/03/2020 70comments  |  Jump to last
As we sit out an unplanned break to football, it is the perfect time to review Carlo Ancelotti’s start at the Blues. Has he really lived up to the 'Carlo Fantastico' song in his early tenure?

Taking over from the Duncan Fergusson interregnum, Ancelotti started with a Boxing Day win against Burnley at Goodison Park, and followed it up with a 2-1 win at Newcastle 48 hours later. Three other wins have ensued; two against Brighton and Crystal Palace, both at home, and a last-ditch win away at Watford.

No-one has a god-given right to win football games, but these victories are not against the most stellar cast. Let's compare this to the losses: 2-1 at a weakened and under-performing Manchester City, who don’t even bother to play Aguero up front against us any more. The absolutely disgraceful Anfield debacle in the FA Cup against a team of crèche kids, a 3-2 loss at Arsenal, and the latest humiliation at Chelsea. Throw in the ridiculous draw with Newcastle and the absolutely turgid display in the 1-1 draw at West Ham and things are not so 'magnifico'.

A credible draw at Goodison with Manchester United, which the Blues could have nicked in the second half, is the only other game. When you look at this run of results, it needs to be asked: Where is the mentality shift in this group of bottlers when it comes to playing away at the so-called big six? That’s the first thing Ancelotti has to fix if we are to get anywhere under him. Tottenham Hotspur may be in a bit of a mess this season but, when we eventually get down there, does anyone really think we will win?

Our record against these clubs is shameful. I don’t usually agree with the telly pundit idiots (they are real football people!!!), but the comments by Gary Neville after yet another defeat at Arsenal, that Everton always bottle it when travelling to the so-called big six, is spot-on. The response of Kevin Ratcliffe on Twitter, trying to defend our pathetic record at these clubs, was just surreal... (We are not back in the mid-80s when you were in your pomp, Kevin!)

Tactically, Ancelotti is sticking with 4-4-2. I agree with him when he said that football teams need to be able to play in different systems, so why has he so far doggedly persisted with 4-4-2? Playing this way either sees the god-awful Sigurdsson out on the left, which Marco Silva got dog's abuse for when he did it, or in the middle, where he is to slow.

Delph has been a joke signing, Tom Davies is starting to run out of chances while Gbamin has been out injured all season. It comes to something when the best player in the middle with Gomes in a 4-4-2 is Morgan Schneiderlin, who at least can sit in front of the defence and is able to find Gomes with a pass. With him out for the rest of the season (and he is not any sort of answer going forward), apart from Gomes, we have nobody who can play in a middle two in a 4-4-2. In this system, when it comes to the so-called better teams, we get overrun in midfield. The Chelsea game was a true embarrassment: Outclassed by two kids and Ross Barkley!

Under Carlo, we play out from the back – nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t constantly do it – especially when you have Michael Keane playing as one of your centre-backs!!! Ancelotti said he will rotate Holgate, Mina and Keane for the rest of the season, but surely he must have made his mind up on Keane by now.

If he still wants to give Keane game time, do it with three at the back; but, in doing this, if we have Sidibé playing as a wing-back, I would be filled with dread. Maybe for now we could go to a 4-5-1 with Richarlison on one wing and Anthony Gordon on the other, and sometimes Bernard if he is on song. Please, no-one suggest Walcott!!!

Ancelotti’s substitutions have also not been glowing in these early games... the Newcastle home game for example. No matter the witless way we imploded in the last 104 seconds – it was Ancelotti’s substitutions which threw away the two points.

At Arsenal, it was apparent that the Sidibé - Iwobi partnership was not working in the first 10 minutes but no attempt was made to change this, or get instructions onto the field; it was not till the second half that changes were made.

It was obvious that we were not up to it after the first minute at Stamford Bridge, something that Ancelotti admitted himself in his post-match press conference. Well, if it is that obvious, Carlo, then make some changes, no matter how early in the game.

Which brings us to the Under-23s. The number of players coming through from the tutelage of Unsworth is depressingly low, if not non-existent (see my “Blocked Pathways for Under-23s” article). The shining light of the young players, Anthony Gordon, needs to be given more playing time in the team when the season resumes (whenever that may be).

At the same time, with the crock of shit we have in midfield, it surely is time to make decisions on Baningime and Adeniran. Give them game time to the end of the season — they can’t do any worse than what we have. Will they make it as first-team players? Probably not... I think the boat has sailed for both of them, but give them the chance. If they don’t cut it, let them go and make their careers somewhere else, instead of wasting their time constantly turning out and usually being the best players for the Under-23s.

In conclusion, if/when the season does start up again, any hopes of Europe (which I never had or wanted this season) are gone. It is time for Ancelotti to experiment more, not just stick to 4-4-2. It is time to give more playing time to Anthony Gordon and Moise Kean and to assess Baningime and Adeniran. It is to be hoped, while this hiatus of football is taking place, Ancelotti is doing a lot of thinking about how he wants Everton to play, and puts this into action in the final part of the season, (whenever that is). It is also to be hoped that he and Marcel Brands are sitting down together daily planning incomings and outgoings for the next transfer window.

I wrote in “Stars in his Eyes”, that Ancelotti was not the man for Everton. I also said, as manager of the Blues, I hope he will succeed; I want him to. Carlo cannot really be assessed until next season; but I think the adulation he has received since he has turned up at Finch Farm, compared to his early record with The Toffees, has been totally over the top. He has a lot to do to convince me he really is 'Carlo Fantastico'.

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 20/03/2020 at 08:25:19
There's a very short article by Harvey Sayer at the 90 Minutes At A Time (90MAAT) blogsite, tagging Anthony Gordon, Dennis Adeniran and Ellis Simms as Everton’s rising stars who are knocking on Ancelotti’s door

Adds a few stats on their goals and assists for the U23s. In my opinion, I thought it was really poor of Ancelotti to bring on Anthony Gordon for his Premier League debut when we were 4 goals down and really struggling at Chelsea. What was the point of that?

And that was an astounding three years after he was given a tantalizing taste of the bright lights one night under the stars on Cyprus... that would be a good hiatus article on the Lost Generation of Limassol.

At least none of these three have been farmed out on loan, which I feel is nowhere near as effective as people seem to assume. There may be enough meat for another article on that topic in the hiatus... for those of us who actually want to talk about football!!!

Nicholas Ryan
2 Posted 20/03/2020 at 09:15:03
The conclusion of this article, is utterly, utterly wrong. If you bring in Lewis Hamilton to drive a 25-year old Nissan Micra, you may not see results immediately... that doesn't mean that Hamilton won't drive it better than anyone else, given time!
John Raftery
3 Posted 20/03/2020 at 09:35:34
Some words from the recent Chelsea Matchday Programme. ‘Ancelotti had already shown before arriving at Stamford Bridge that, while he had a clear idea of how he wanted his teams to play their football, he was happy to adapt the system to the players at his disposal and the opponents they would face, rather than rigidly trying to fit square pegs into round holes to maintain his preferred shape.’

I guess he is discovering at Everton he has too many square pegs and too many unfilled round holes. Managers are not magicians. Our results have improved but it always seemed to me unlikely we would see the team suddenly start to win away games against teams in the top half of the table. We have not done that for several years. The problem may be partially one of mentality but I believe it is more about ability. We do not have enough players of top quality.

John G Davies
4 Posted 20/03/2020 at 10:19:57
Assess him when he has actually signed a few players and integrated them into HIS team.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
5 Posted 20/03/2020 at 11:06:56
Michael, Anthony Gordon came on at West Ham. Chelsea was his second sub appearance.
Steve Carse
6 Posted 20/03/2020 at 11:12:52
John (3) "Our results have improved" -- hardly. Not only did Ancelotti oversee the humiliation against the Anfields Colts, he has only secured one point more in the league if comparing with Silva's achievements in the same fixtures last season.
I agree it is far too early to make lasting judgements, and we're all hoping beyond hope that he does prove himself to be the man to change our fortunes. But we are kidding ourselves if we think we are seeing much, or indeed any, improvement to date.
Ken Kneale
7 Posted 20/03/2020 at 11:29:03
I like us all really want Ancelotti to be a runaway success for the sake of our club. However, whilst at times he has shown a level of maturity and experience lacking in any immediate predecessor, there has also been some ominous signs too. The continued selection of non interested or over the hill or never were good enough players when he has an opportunity to blood some youngsters with greater talent; the total lack of game plan and attitude against the RS in the cup game; formation and attitude against Chelsea to name but three - there is plenty more if you add in dodgy substitutions. I have not personally checked but knowing Steve's analytical skills I am more than happy yo accept that the game for game points are almost identical to a woeful Silva. That really is worrying. Brands cannot escape here either - unless he unearths a Collins, a Kay, a Reid or a Gray to not only provide fire in the belly on the field but provide character in the dressing room, I see no true leader in any of this current group.
John G Davies
8 Posted 20/03/2020 at 13:49:18
Ken,

Can I ask which youngsters have "greater talent" than the " selection of non interested or over the hill or never were good enough players" please.

David Pearl
9 Posted 20/03/2020 at 14:27:52
Actually l’ve had enough of 442. At first we had Bernard drifting inside which offered something a little different while getting Richarlison closer to DCL also helped us. However. It’s just stale. We had nothing in the middle against Chelsea. We missed Schneiderlin next to Gomes and with Davies it was just a big hole with no spine.

When or if we restart I really hope he can find another way for us to play. After all this squad was purchased with a 4231 formation in mind. I’d even suggest trying that again and trying to find positions for Iwobi to grow into and for Siggy to regain his mojo.

Going forward ld leave it the same in the striker positions so DCL, Richarlison & Kean can continue to improve, that’s if Kean can get the minutes he needs. Behind them the shape is still wrong. We need a central midfielder that can win the ball back and some more creativity. A new and improved right wing back would also be nice.

We are not that far away. However if a game doesn't start well Ancelotti seems to be caught casting his eye over what will be after another transfer window instead of being able to change things to take control of the game. I have been a bit disappointed in his ability to tweak things when we obviously need to. He started well, especially playing Coleman in a 3 which l thought had potential. What hasn’t helped him is Delph and Schneiderlin being injured and the up and down form of Sidibe. Pickford need to grow up.

Let’s hope plans are already in place for the players we need... l wonder when the window will open?

George Carroll
10 Posted 20/03/2020 at 14:46:48
For goodness sake we have enough depressing news about at the moment cant Evertonians find something positive to write about. I am self isolating at the moment being in the 80 plus age group and I look to football sites to relieve the boredom but can do without articles like this one
Darren Hind
11 Posted 20/03/2020 at 14:50:30
I fully agree with this Piece Martin. Especially when you speak about "adulation"

It makes me smile when the very people who talk about what a wonderful manager he used to be and how good a job he is doing, after we have just beaten one of the Premier league also rans, Then claim it is unfair to judge him after we have been outplayed and beaten by one of the better teams.

You cant have it both ways if people don't want him criticised at this stage. they need to understand that the embarrassing OTT praise is simply the other side of the same coin

I don't care what he did in a former life. I only care what he does here.

John Raftery
12 Posted 20/03/2020 at 17:21:37
Steve (6) When I said results had improved I ought to have added ‘compared with earlier in the season’. The team managed by Silva this season lost games against all of the promoted teams, Villa, Sheffield United and bottom of the table Norwich plus Bournemouth, Burnley and Brighton.

Mindful of how abject those defeats were, by the time we reached December, few were confident Silva would deliver enough victories from games against Burnley, Newcastle (a), Brighton, Watford (a) and Palace to take us up to mid table. It has not been brilliant but it was never going to be with our very limited squad.

Bill Gienapp
13 Posted 20/03/2020 at 18:07:49
Ancelotti's an excellent manager, and we're lucky to have someone of his class. It's also clear that he's not a miracle worker. So far, he's mostly stabilized the ship and got us winning the sort of games we were losing habitually under Silva earlier in the season. Unfortunately, the Chelsea match was a golden opportunity to make a statement of intent and we failed miserably.

That being said, I think Martin's piece glosses over the quality and character of a few of those wins. Beating Newcastle on the road is nothing to sneeze at - they'd only lost once at home all season, and that was in August. There was also the nature of the victory itself - we conceded an equalizer early in the second half, but instead of buckling mentally, we regained control of the match, produced the go-ahead goal and then calmly saw out the result. And the Watford win, while a bit odd and flukey (what with Mina scoring the two stoppage time goals in the first half), showed a will and resilience that had been sorely lacking for some time.

Tony Hill
14 Posted 20/03/2020 at 18:24:00
We lack players of the right character and talent. That is the problem which has afflicted all recent managers.

I like Ancelotti but he's made some weird moves which if they'd been made by Allardyce or Silva would have caused instant outrage.

The Chelsea game was an outright failure for team and manager and though I would like to be optimistic, I am afraid that we remain very much a mediocre outfit.

I'm not at all sure either that this is a mere "hiatus". I don't think we're going to see meaningful football for a very long time.

Conor McCourt
15 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:00:08
Martin I feel this is an overly critical review of Carlo's reign even if I agreed with your premise that he may be the wrong appointment. I think it's also contradictory to ask for better results then suggest players who aren't good enough to be included to achieve those results.

From my perspective I observe Carlo's tenure in two parts.

Firstly results which I look more favourably than your assessment. Yes we have been beating largely struggling, off colour teams but have still done so and consistently when some of the top six have not been adept at finding solutions. Ancelottis tactical tweaks have certainly demonstrated a level of problem solving unseen from his predecessors. Dismissing these is harsh though I'm concerned that we also benefited from Carlo's bounce, the rub of the green and a dream fixture run so I do worry these results won't be replicated.

The second and most disappointing aspect of Carlo's reign has been the quality of football produced. Performances to my eye are obviously better than the standard of Allardyce but considerably inferior to the decent stuff we witnessed last spring under Silva. For me the showings against the neighbours youth team, City and Chelsea were worse than anything served up by any of his predecessors in such a short space of time. Even in victory our lack of control in games is alarming and is at odds with the better teams in the division.

Prior to Carlo's appointment I expressed misgivings and expectations which I feel have so far on the whole been borne out. The instant upsurge occurred with Carlo addressing the deficiencies of Silva as predicted based on his history of immediate impact. He built his team around his two potent attackers maximising their output and releasing their counter attacking threat, gave the players confidence and simplicity while improving their character, unity and mentality. We have become more effective and efficient if not inspirational. The surprise has been his failure to improve us defensively which I thought was a given.

Where I feel Ancelotti has so far proved my fears misplaced is with regards to fitness levels. Carlo stated he inherited a very fit side and his instillation of steel may masquerade as increasing longevity but regardless in observing the Watford, Arsenal and Utd games in particular we looked in excellent shape fighting to the final whistle. Carlo must be praised for that.

As for the rest of my fears I feel Carlo has done more to validate than disprove. I disagree with Martins assertion that Carlo is failing to address the 'mentality'. Many of our fan base feel we have a winner and Carlo has previous of toppling the best so this should translate to the players. Against Arsenal and City there was nothing wrong with the mentality. Control and Quality are the issues.

I believe we can topple the elite at Goodison because we can play them on our terms, our tempo and they get sucked into discomfort that they can't deal with nor suited to. When we play away we can't impose ourselves and their technical superiority shines through. I think we have regressed in terms of control and quality under Carlo and he is not able to fight fire with fire as with previous clubs and so we look like we are back in the Moyes era at times.

In assessing Carlos tenure we must remember what was asked him of him when appointed and to that end he has done well. This summer he will hopefully be supported to get the players to push us on and redress some of the weaknesses that were not remedied and indeed created in the preceding window. His status will ensure he gets his men, it will be then up to him to deliver.

Peter Mills
16 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:01:13
I’m going to give Carlo rather longer than 3 months before making any judgment on him.
Jamie Crowley
17 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:04:49
If you look at the most important barometer to measure success - the Crowley Enjoyment Barometer - Ancelotti is performing fantastically and has completely transformed this squad.

Yes, we've had the occasional "door opening fart" of games. You know, the one that creaks along, lasts too long, and smells like utter crap.

But, macro!

Under Silva:

Everything down the wings
Like 3 shots on goal per game
Flaccid performances
Falling asleep
Narcolepsy
No hope

Under Ancelotti:

Hope
A bunch of shots per game
Actual football
No more down the wings predictable garbage
Kids getting played
Better results
Fun in the main to watch again!

He's not God. He's intelligent. He represents the Club well. He has a footballing brain and is accomplished. He will get us there, be patient.

Wash your hands.

John G Davies
18 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:09:59
Peter Mills,

Most sensible people will be doing the same.

Des Farren
19 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:14:30
Not quite a "former life" but 25 yrs of coaching Darren. Yet you prefer to judge him on a 3month stint at Everton?
And you present this selectivity as a fair judgement?
Darren Hind
20 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:25:08
Its far worse than you think Des. I don't even wait three months. I judge him after every single game.

And yes I think it infinitely more fair than OTT praise for him by some when we win and "reserving judgement" by the same people when we don't.. Thats just dishonest

Joe McMahon
21 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:52:58
He hasn't made a signing yet, and has a small squad including Micheal Keane, Sigurdsson and Tom Davies, and a goal keeper who is a loose cannon.

I think we woudl need to get into next season or at least until much of the unwanted crap is out of contract or sold.

Des Farren
22 Posted 20/03/2020 at 19:55:54
You can judge his role after every single game Darren as we all do, along with his players performance, but you cannot balance this against his career long achievements or indeed simply dismiss his whole career as if it was not worthy of comment.
How dishonest is that?
Trevor Powell
23 Posted 20/03/2020 at 20:05:29
On BBC football website, Phil McNulty if often accused on springboarding the haranguing of struggling managers to a witch-hunt.

So, can our McNulties tell us who should we have in the hotseat going into 2021?

Tell us what Carlo must achieve and what the time frame is for him to be an unqualified success!

Patrick McFarlane
24 Posted 20/03/2020 at 20:28:03
Trevor #23 Mention of the BBC prompts me to ask why is Match of The Day back on our screens this coming Saturday night? Could it be yet another excuse to show the best of the unmentionables and use it as a platform to gain support for their cause? I never watch the programme unless Everton have been victorious so I won't be watching on Saturday either.
Darren Hind
25 Posted 20/03/2020 at 20:52:51
Nothing dishonest in my post Des.

I don't, As you falsely claim, dismiss his whole career. I simply state I don't care about it.
Winning trophies with the world class players he inherited at other clubs will count for Zilch with many Evertonians if he leaves the club having won nothing.

When you earn that kind of money Ancelotti is getting, it goes one of two ways. You deliver or you fail.

Only when he delivers will he earn the sort of praise from me you seem to think he should get up front.

Sorry. its not happening

John G Davies
26 Posted 20/03/2020 at 21:14:30
To judge him so early into his long contract, either in a positive or a negative way, is foolish.
Plenty of time for that.
Ken Kneale
27 Posted 20/03/2020 at 22:28:51
John I entire agree with Peter and your reply to him I made that clear in my opening line. None the less, players such as Michael mentions have been completely bypassed whilst Gylfi and others have been stealing a living based on any realistic assessment of their contribution to games, and even more eye watering, being handed the armband. That in my book is a negative for Carlo's opening period and I very much hope the coming months see some change whenever resumption of this season or commencement of new begins.
Drew O'Neall
28 Posted 20/03/2020 at 22:31:06
He wasn’t in charge for the game against Liverpool.
Bob Parrington
29 Posted 21/03/2020 at 05:59:47
Phil@5 Thanks for correcting this. I thought he had previously come on but couldn't't remember which game.

Chuckle - There's no hiding on TW

Bob Parrington
30 Posted 21/03/2020 at 06:02:24
John G @ 26 Spot on!
Darren Hind
31 Posted 21/03/2020 at 09:42:34
Perhaps if people hadnt been so lavish in their "judgement" after victories against the also rans Martin wouldnt have felt the need to raise the point

Ancelotti has made some howling tactical decisions. He will/ is being Judged on them and rightly so. it would be "foolish" not to

Its just so typical of this club to give a guy a 60m contract and a 12 month honeymoon period.

No wonder he likes it here

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 21/03/2020 at 10:13:08
I’d say the honeymoon period will have only been this season Darren, and the only thing that’s going to turn Everton round is a united fan-base, which does seem a whole lot better since Carlo Ancelotti came on board.

Some of his tactics have also been good, but with the last game always being the most fresh in our minds, then it’s a lot easier to criticise Ancelotti because he had an absolute shocker at Chelsea, particularly because he said himself that it was all wrong from minute1.

I’d sooner have a debate on music at the minute though, because it’s the only thing that’s hopefully going to keep me sane, and the song I’m listening to right now is “In your eyes!” I love Gabriel, especially SAN Jacinto, and losing the line, is something we’re all going to learn how to do!

Will put Dire Straights on later, I’ve heard you mention a few of their songs on T/W Darren, so I gonna play “Brothers In Arms” for you later!

John G Davies
33 Posted 21/03/2020 at 10:22:20
Money For Nothing might be a better choice Tony
Derek Taylor
34 Posted 21/03/2020 at 10:33:45
The Ancelotti apologists will still be making excuses for him three years down the line. He might by then have spent another half a billion of the Monshiri/Usmanov money but will still be needing time for his own signings 'to bed in.'

Problem here is that 'Carlo Fantastico' WAS a great manager BUT nothing in his most recent record indicates his success has endured. I have little doubt that he and his clan saw Everton as the absolute dream pension plan and a meeting or two with the club's owners and its chairman will have convinced the tribe and their agents that they were on to a good thing !

Brian Williams
35 Posted 21/03/2020 at 10:55:37
Yer can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. No manager in the world could improve our present squad to perform at a higher level "on a regular basis!"
Some of the players just aren't up to it.
Surely the Ancelotti detractors can see that?
Derek Taylor
36 Posted 21/03/2020 at 11:53:05
Yes, Brian, too many of our players 'aren't 'up to it. But that doesn't explain his bad judgement on team selection, tactics and substitutions !
Kevin Prytherch
37 Posted 21/03/2020 at 12:30:11
Under Silva we constantly failed to beat the crap teams - losing 4 times against the team who was bottom of the league, but we put up a fight against the better teams.

Under Ancelotti we seem to have done the opposite...

Against everyone bar the top 6..
P7 W5 D2 L0 - average points 2.42
Against the top 6
P4 W0 D1 L3 - average points 0.25

Then there’s the cup game as well, so lost 4 out of 5.

If we keep on like that next season, we’ll end up with around 66 points, which would be a good improvement. 66 points is usually anywhere between 5th and 7th.

Our next step is then to start getting points against the better teams and, let’s face it, we could easily have got victories against Arsenal or Utd.

I’m happy with him getting results against the teams we should be getting results against and giving us a platform to build on.

John Zapa
38 Posted 21/03/2020 at 12:50:53
It's the poor leadership at the top of the club that has overseen the poorest level of player recruitment in the clubs history over the last few years. There is absolutely no value for money with many of the signings. In addition, the player recruitment was done for different managers with totally different styles of play who wanted different types of players.

Make no mistake, Ancelotti inherited a mess of a squad, however he is absolutely the wrong man to take the club forward. He has not shown much improvement compared to his predecessor the year before. He will not develop young players, he will not coach the existing players to improve, he will not enjoy working with little spending with the clubs hands tied due to FFP rules. I cant see him lasting beyond next season, he hasn't stayed at the same club for over 2 seasons since Milan in the early 2000's.

Chris Williams
39 Posted 21/03/2020 at 12:56:58
Tony,

Regarding music and Dire Straits, have you listened to any of Mark Knopflers solo albums? Some crackers.

Also re Dylan, have you listened to Slow Train Coming? The one he did at Muscle Shoals. Knopfler and Pick Withers from Straits are on that too.

Ancelotti seems to have improved the overall performance level, but with two absolute horror shows in there. We seem to have the same gaps in the team we had before the season started. A fast left footed centre half, a dominant central midfielder a left footed right sided attacker who scores and a central striker.

Also reading that we’re looking at Thomas Meunièr again. I think he’s out of contract in June.

Conor McCourt
40 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:24:17
Brian 35-

"yer can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear"

This argument I see more and more from individuals that don't want to critique the manager and want to excuse mediocrity.

I am not expecting miracles nor have I been dismissive of our points return which has been decent on the whole. But I do want to see progression and getting the most from the players we have.

Silva is regarded as one of our worst managers yet Carlo is performing similar to him points wise last season, but without some of the thrilling performances like the Man U game. Even Watford enjoyed a victory of pure quality over our rivals. Should we not have had one by now considering we have had three horrific shockers?

"Some players just aren't up to it..surely the Ancelotti detractors can see that"

We have the England gk, one of the best rb this decade, the best young cb in England and two former Barca men as our back five. Do you think we should be giving away goals like confetti if you look at Arsenals and Utds individual players and how they have been defending? Are we unreasonable to expect improvement from the shambolic defending under Silva?

Mikel Arteta took over a similar job with a squad of quality,egos, misfits, deadwood and mental fragility. He has improved every player by at least 20% barring Lacazette. Xhaka is performing better than at anytime at Arsenal, their shocking defenders look competent and their overall standard is night and day from before. He hasn't bought a player and even when they started slowly their fans were already rejuvenated because the improvement on the pitch was obvious if not the table.

When we played them Twebbers remarked that this was Arsenals worst team ever. A month later the consensus was that they had the better players but we had the better manager. This was the impact of Mikel on that team.

"No manager in the world could improve our present squad to perform at a high level on a regular basis"
Is it too much to ask Carlo to get them to perform at a higher level on a singular basis?

Kevin 37- I would take that next season if that was assured but those results occurred when everyone was in a good place with the new manager effect and came on a roll. On another day against Watford, Brighton, Newcastle away or Palace I wouldn't be confident of taking the three points considering the way those games went.

Steve Shave
41 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:38:37
George (10) well said sir, wishing you good health in this time. I agree, this is a depressing, negative post that is way too premature. Carlo needs a couple of windows before we can really judge. Yes he's made a strange decision or too but let's get behind this man of genuine pedigree who we are lucky to have here. If we are still seeing the same mistakes, same personal being rolled out midway through next season then yes, by all means post something like this.
Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:41:41
Hands up all those who would bring Silva back rather than give Ancelotti another season?
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:49:29
But we were very unlucky at Arsenal, imo Conor!

Thanks for the advice Chris, I was actually going through my telly yesterday and there is loads of Knopfler’s solo stuff on it so I might just put one of them on right now.

I never really liked Money for nothing, John G, maybe it was because it was that popular that I got fed up of it, but I could listen to latest trick, all day!

Tony Sullivan
44 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:51:52
This is a rant parading as an assessment.
Patrick McFarlane
45 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:52:31
Bad Midfield equals disappointment and Everton haven't had a decent midfield for large parts of this season, until we add quality to that area of the team we'll be inconsisent no matter who is in charge. It used to be 3 years before the natives became restless now it appears to be 3 months. I don't care who is the manager of Everton and I want Everton to win, but surely any manager deserves a modicum of patience?
Chris Williams
46 Posted 21/03/2020 at 13:59:33
Most of them are good Tony. Try Kill to get Crimson.

A lot of his solo stuff is folksy.

John G Davies
47 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:03:38
Me neither Tony A.

It was more a reference to posters thoughts on Ancelottis wages.

Get on Roger Waters.
Came on the moody yesterday

Tony Everan
48 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:05:51
We've got to give Carlo a chance, he came in when the club was in complete disarray, albeit galvanised temporarily by Duncan. The Silva experiment was another disaster that needed emergency room help to stabilise us. Carlo has achieved that, to an extent and that is some sort of an achievement. He hasn't got a central midfield or a right back at the moment, Gomes is re-acclimatising, Schneiderlin injured, Gbamin out. Sigg, Tom are not influential or contributing enough to be chosen in normal circumstances. He is trying to win games with one hand tied behind his back.

We have to give him time to sign a few players of his own and be accountable for his own team, not someone elses. He needs at least a full transfer window and a full pre-season.

The worry for me was the team he put out at Chelsea was a naive selection. The 442 in that instance with the players chosen was taken apart by rookie manager Frank Lampard's formation and tactics. Chelsea may well have won anyway that day but Carlo's set up handed the initiative to Chelsea on a plate. His deployment of tactics there worries me that he is able transform us, maybe it was an aberration, but it lends weight to the initial arguments that he is a big team manager with ready made players.

Transforming us into a regular top 6 side will need every bit of guile and tactical nous he has got. It will need a million times more than what we saw at Chelsea. Has he got what it takes? His long term record says he deserves time and a chance to prove it.

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:12:36
That’s what I’m taking out of this Coronavirus, John G. The people can see the fish swimming in the waters again, Wuhan, and Northen Italy, have both seen the air clear, and maybe people are going to realise that this species has got to stop amusing itself to death?

I love Radio Kaos, but I bet your own favourite would be the pro’s and con’s of an Evertonian hitch-hiker!

Got this on now and I’m enjoying “sailing to Philadelphia” Chris, I fact I might invite this fella to our campfire one day, all being well!

Darren Hind
50 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:27:27
Yes Tony

But this virus has over run the defenses. a major invasion to stretch the expenses and nobody's going down to the airport now.

Will you stand still for it..Or will you take to the hills

Derek Thomas
51 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:30:33
Carlo inherited a total dogs breakfast. It may not even be fixable in the short term, or, given the world as it is today, in the long term.

He doesn't seem a panic merchant. There maybe no totally correct path.

If He and we are in BMD by 2025 we can all pat ourselves on the back.

It's alway best to take these things one game at a time...when that one game at a time may be is as yet up for grabs...August seems likely.

John G Davies
52 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:32:03
In a hotel overlooking the Rhine
Chris Williams
53 Posted 21/03/2020 at 14:38:43
Acoustic or electric Tony
Kevin Prytherch
54 Posted 21/03/2020 at 15:37:55
Conor 40 - it’s true that 2 of those victories came straight after he was appointed, but so did 2 of the losses.

Also - if Carlos average points this season were transferred into 38 games we would have 62 points - 8 more than Silva got last year.

I’m not saying he’s perfect at the moment, however I think he’s the best we’re likely to get.

Even out of the bad defeats - The players let everyone down against Liverpool. Against Chelsea I think he lined up to counter their 3 in midfield and it was just poorly executed by our players. I think that Sigurdsson was meant to drift inside and support the 2 in the middle.

All in all...
better - definitely
Brilliant - not yet

Tony Abrahams
55 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:14:07
I’m goin nowhere Darren, two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl! I'm listening to Gabriel, going swimming now, swimming in the pool, swimming is cool, and that was an electric guitar before Chris.

Made up your lad is using his initiative, hope it goes well Chris, and all’s I can say to John G, is if only mate! although my kids are keeping me entertained with this tik-tok!

Chris Williams
56 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:35:06
Cheers Tony
Jay Harris
57 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:35:38
George #10,
Well said that man.

People must be bored brainless to post shit about a man who we are very lucky to have got as manager.

If people cant see the improvements on and off the pitch since Ancelotti came they must be blind or biased.

Yes we have had setbacks but that is not unexpected until the man gets a proper grip on the club and brings in players HE feels will do the necessary.

Jay Harris
58 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:35:38
George #10,
Well said that man.

People must be bored brainless to post shit about a man who we are very lucky to have got as manager.

If people cant see the improvements on and off the pitch since Ancelotti came they must be blind or biased.

Yes we have had setbacks but that is not unexpected until the man gets a proper grip on the club and brings in players HE feels will do the necessary.

Jay Harris
59 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:35:38
George #10,
Well said that man.

People must be bored brainless to post shit about a man who we are very lucky to have got as manager.

If people cant see the improvements on and off the pitch since Ancelotti came they must be blind or biased.

Yes we have had setbacks but that is not unexpected until the man gets a proper grip on the club and brings in players HE feels will do the necessary.

Jay Harris
60 Posted 21/03/2020 at 16:57:40
Sorry,
It seems ive got repetitive speech syndrome.
Conor McCourt
61 Posted 21/03/2020 at 19:36:37
Tony I agree with you though they did have a European game less than 48 hours before and were well in control until they looked out on their feet.

Kevin- I don't know what anyone's expectations were then when Carlo was appointed. I believe Carlo's and Marco's records are similar against the same opponents in their first season. Not long back posters were bragging that Carlo was averaging 2.37 points per game and now you are claiming it's 1.63 with a few daunting fixtures on the horizon and Dunc was given a few of the nastier ones to begin with.

When Silva was sacked many were saying he was our poorest manager, he also took 3 months to give Holgate a go despite persisting with an unworkable centre half pairing thrown on him by Brands which haemorrhaged points. In addition some players like Siggy ignored him and down tools while others like DCL were not being used correctly. Many of the new acquisitions needed time to bed in and he persisted with his rigid system and unmovable players. By the end even Silva didn't believe in himself let alone the squad having faith.

For anyone to set the bar to where we were because we have improved from then is pretty tragic considering we were being sold a"World Class Manager" and everyone is falling over hoops. We were going to improve no matter who was appointed especially after Dunc raised morale and we still have a top eight squad. Normally new managers have a big upswing, if this is Carlo's then I'm slightly worried for what the future will bring.

Kevin I have no doubt Carlo will get the time and the players this summer to mount a top six challenge next season but whereas if we had the Arsenal supremo at the helm I'd be expectant, I'm more in keeping with the typical Everton blind hope.


Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 21/03/2020 at 19:56:10
Thursday to Sunday is more than 48 hrs Conor, but I agree that Arsenal had more quality in certain areas, even if I thought Everton also had a few who looked good at times that day.

I personally don’t think we have got enough good players to be playing 4-4-2 against the better teams, and I think that’s already been proven, although the second half against United was good, when everyone was working to the maximum, aaahhh what about that fuckin Sigurdsson?

Conor McCourt
63 Posted 21/03/2020 at 20:30:08
Tony there was something weird like they were playing til after midnight on the Friday and travelled home on the Saturday.

I agree that a lot of our defenders are better than theirs and I think our front boys were superb on the day. My point about Mikel was that he has as much deadwood and weaknesses in his squad as us and they also need to recruit well in a lot of areas but purely by his coaching he has made them infinitely better.

I'm sorry for putting you in bad form by mentioning the S word. In defence of Carlo Tony I think he wants the two up top to hurt them and they certainly caused Utd and Arsenal plenty of problems. I wonder would he not try a diamond four in midfield, keeping two up top and that way we could also get more out of Siggy. Bollox I mentioned him again!!

I also like your idea of trying Sidibe centrally for his legs you suggested on another thread.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 21/03/2020 at 21:39:50
Anyone watching Maradona on C4?
Derek Taylor
65 Posted 22/03/2020 at 10:40:47
Connor, so low have the expectations of many of our number fallen that they will worship at the shrine of anybody who gets a few points in the bag. To post objective comment – only ever a viewpoint – is to get charged with disloyalty and worse!
Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 22/03/2020 at 10:46:11
I don't think Conor, could ever be described as 'being disloyal', Derek, because it's easy to see he's got Everton's best interests at heart.

I don't think anyone could be described as disloyal really, because we are all Evertonians at the end of the day, even the ones who constantly browbeat!

Steve Carse
67 Posted 22/03/2020 at 14:40:22
Connor (63) hopefully we're no longer stuck in a situation where we have to have a go at putting players (Sidibe in the example you give) into experimental positions (central midfield in this case). And I very much doubt that CA will be thinking within such a mindset.
Conor McCourt
68 Posted 22/03/2020 at 18:09:24
"even the ones who constantly browbeat"

Ha Ha Tony I think you have actually invented a new word for specifically picking on Carlo- to browbeat.😉

Jerome Shields
69 Posted 22/03/2020 at 23:53:24
Good and well thought-out article. Ancelotti has attempted to improve Everton and on occasions has succeeded, but not consistently. Everton can resort back to poor abysmal performances which we are all familiar with and Ancelotti's attempts at improvement are in tatters.

What Ancelotti has done is to coach the players in good footballing practice. In the forwards, he has tried to improve the positional attacking play and final-third interplay. In midfield, he has moved from possession play to providing swift through-ball passing and more positive forward play. In defense, he has encouraged better positional play and better ball distribution from the defense. Additionally, he has worked hard at set-pieces.

The truth is that some players have not bought into what he has asked of them and others are not consistent in implementing good footballing practice. This is against the background of a bloated squad and poor-performing footballers who no-one wants, never mind paying what they want.

One would think and many of us have hoped that the squad would rise above mediocrity and want to perform of their best and compete. But even Ancelotti has found to his embarrassment that this side can meekly put four feet in the air and give up. Something that has happened for years.

I have always felt the problem has been deeper, through successive manager reigns. Ancelotti has recently eventually achieved change in the backroom staff, establishing himself as Head Coach and in more control of the backroom operations of Everton than previous managers. It has taken him till recently to do this, in my opinion because of resistance to change in the backroom operations of Everton, the myriad structures at Finch Farm and the additional staff that seem to float between the clear backroom Management structure and the actual players, not to mention the ex-player contingent.

Player power is evident at many clubs, especially the top clubs, who have on occasions downed tools on prominent managers. But at Everton, it appears the power they have is disproportionate to their actual ability and motivation. This in my opinion arises as a result of a top-heavy backroom structure which facilitates an attitude that a player at Everton can get away with a bad performance and maybe decide not to perform. This is difficult to quantify, but the gist is that what you get on the pitch is born on the training ground.

The performance at Chelsea was the result of resistance to the changes that Ancelotti had recently implemented. Some will say we should have played the simple football of Duncan Ferguson, as was played at Goodison, but Chelsea played better football than Everton that day and Ancelotti knows that the only way forward is to build on his coaching. The side he put out a Stamford Bridge was to do this, but they did not turn up for him. Sigurdsson, our captain on the day, in his post-match interview, seems to admit that he knew after five minutes how the game would go. By his performance, it could be said he gave up after that. The truth is, his mind was made up before he set foot on the pitch.

Good Luck, Carlo, with the good work, you are going to need it.

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 23/03/2020 at 13:00:01
Sharp — Conor! Why would a very experienced manager, not change anything about his team’s shape or personnel, if he thought it was wrong from the first minute?

I don’t know the answer, only Ancelotti and the people closest to him will know that. We can guess, we could all guess something different, because it’s definitely strange doing nothing, when you know your team is struggling, so maybe Carlo is already fed-up brow-beating them!

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