Carlo Ancelotti has reiterated the attraction that Everton held for him when he took the somewhat surprising step to take the reins at Goodison Park so soon after being sacked by Napoli.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian's Sid Lowe, the Italian was asked what made him want to leap straight back into another managerial role and why at Everton, a relatively unfashionable club compared to the modern European giants he has coached throughout his career.
“[Is there anything] better than coaching? Noooo,” Ancelotti said with a laugh. “You coach because what you want is to play. I'd like to play the game, not prepare it, but I'm 61 and if you can't play, coaching keeps that passion alive.
“The attraction of working in the Premier League again and the club's plans [is what drew me to Everton]. We're getting closer to being able to compete with the best and the project is very interesting. We've got a young team and the [spine] is good.
“It's a young team, it's growing. It's clear we have to invest to compete but the club wants to do that, we're planning the new stadium, I think the club's going to grow very fast. We also have a strong fan base; the relationship is very close. We've invested in the community, and that's important.
“Our future is clearly delineated. The pandemic has created all sorts of problems for the game but that won't change our plans for the future. Our decision [to take salary cuts] was something we felt was right to do: if you can do something to help those who live alongside you, you should.
“We did it, we're happy, and we carry on: that has no impact on our development. The idea is still to improve the team with signings, we're clear on that. We don't have a lot of time before next season but what we need to do to improve the team we'll still do, no doubt.”
Ancelotti says that while he has missed football greatly, he has enjoyed getting familiar with his new surroundings in Crosby and has put the time off during the coronavirus lockdown to good use, watching historical documentaries and otherwise recharging his batteries.
“I feel good physically and [mentally] I'm better, for sure. This period has been crazy but it helps you think, see what matters … I've had time to think.
“I'm missing football. The fact that I couldn't go to training every day was a nightmare for me. But I have done other things.”
Of course, against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the explosion of racial tensions in the United States, something that clearly stirs passion in him and which has sparked renewed global awareness of prejudice and energy for greater equality.
Recalling some ugly racial incidents in Serie A, one of which involved Kalidou Koulibaly while he was at Napoli, Ancelotti says that football is not without its problems, particularly where a lack of black coaches and managers is concerned.
“Football has an important role to play in educating people,” Ancelotti says. “Millions follow footballers, watch what they do, hear what they say. If you challenge people, push them, make them think, things can change.”
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 20/06/2020 at 08:06:10
2 Posted 20/06/2020 at 08:39:55
I know its easier to talk about something rather than do something, but when a man like Ancelotti, who has done everything, says he thinks the club is going to grow very quickly, it definitely warms the heart.
The thing that stood out the most in the whole article to me, was when “our manager” talked about a sense of belonging, and its only when you think about this, that you realise how important this is.
And after Richarlisons comments yesterday, hopefully its beginning to spread from the staff he talks about, and onto his players, because this is the thing that will really help create a winning mentality, and that feeling that a “sense of belonging” is so, so important.
3 Posted 20/06/2020 at 08:55:55
4 Posted 20/06/2020 at 09:10:27
5 Posted 20/06/2020 at 09:28:26
6 Posted 20/06/2020 at 09:32:38
The key bit is this ...
“You coach because what you want is to play. I'd like to play the game, not prepare it, but I'm 61 and if you can't play, coaching keeps that passion alive."
And so says ever arl arse that ever took kicking a ball seriously... well me anyway.
7 Posted 20/06/2020 at 09:46:10
In some ways, I feel sorry for him having inherited such a mish-mash of some good, some bad, and some downright coyote ugly. I just hope too, of the ones who are destined to stay with us, they adopt Carlo's philosophy and play to the maximum of their abilities.
Even before the break, there were too many who didn't seem to be fully committed, and just seemed to be going through the motions. It's been said before, and maybe this is the wrong thread, but I hope Duncan is allowed to bellow from the dug-out for the derby Game and all games thereafter.
Just like it was when Carlo first arrived, and we got unexpected results!
8 Posted 20/06/2020 at 10:54:32
There will be no quick fix; this is probably Carlo Ancelotti's biggest challenge, but he seems to be relishing the challenge. He also seems to love living near the beach at Crosby, and is embracing the culture of the club. His class just shines through every time he speaks to the press.
I know some fans thought he had only signed to top up his pension but, as he said himself, he has enough money and this move had nothing to do with money. Again our players, like Carlo, have taken a 30- 50% wage deferral, unlike our neighbours who wanted to join the furlough scheme. I guess none of their players or staff have taken a wage deferral as it would have been blazoned across every national paper.
9 Posted 20/06/2020 at 12:37:38
“The idea is to improve the club with signings, were clear on that”
Is this a direct reminder to Mr Moshiri that he doesnt want any nonsense when it comes to recruiting his players? He has been told he will be backed and he fully expects it.
10 Posted 20/06/2020 at 12:43:07
11 Posted 20/06/2020 at 13:11:49
We have a class act for a manager as well as a proven winner who will install a winning mentality into his team.
12 Posted 20/06/2020 at 13:34:24
I really do enjoy having this man as our manager, and I haven't been able to say that about most of our recent gaffers. He's a genuine, thoughtful gentleman with a fresh perspective.
13 Posted 20/06/2020 at 13:58:37
14 Posted 20/06/2020 at 14:59:11
15 Posted 20/06/2020 at 15:05:32
16 Posted 20/06/2020 at 15:09:32
If anyone is to get us back on our pedestal, it is this man who is so sincere and bursting with integrity.
17 Posted 20/06/2020 at 15:12:59
18 Posted 20/06/2020 at 21:40:35
It is just disappointing he's found himself, to some degree, with his hands tied. The sheer folly and poor player recruitment of past regimes, and the real potential of a hefty fine for transgressing Financial Fair Play rules means that he is going to be really astute in the transfer market, whilst similarly off-loading those squad players who have no future at Goodison.
However, if ever there was an individual capable of giving us real progress on the field, I'm convinced Carlo is the man.
I'm genuinely looking forward to next season, even with only a limited number of 'Carlo chosen' additions to the team.
I actually think a number of our younger players, including Digne, Richarlison, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Gomes, Gordon etc, give us a strong core of developing players.
We do need a number of quality additions though in key areas; let's hope Carlo can get the player's he wants.
19 Posted 20/06/2020 at 23:19:53
I've been saying for about a year or so I honestly believe we're a time-bomb ticking. When some of these kids mature under Carlo's tutelage, we're going to be one hell of a team in my opinion.
And most importantly, I've had fun watching again. His brand of football is a-okay by me.
20 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:06:35
21 Posted 23/06/2020 at 16:48:54
We've been getting this garbage for decades yet neither the club or its employees ever do anything to counteract or dispute it. Everton FC have never recognised the value of publicity and seem content to sit back and let sleazebag journalists slander us with no response.
No wonder we can't put a winning team together with this handicap.
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