Does Carlo expect too much?

by   |   15/03/2021  14 Comments  [Jump to last]

There is a lot of goodwill towards Carlo Ancelloti from Evertonians and beyond. His record is superb, his demeanour impeccable, and his standing in the game beyond reproach. It has been argued on this site that he has taken over esablished teams, fine-tuned a bit, and had success. Everton is a new challenge, not fine-tuning but building. Time will tell if he can do it.

I hope and believe he will but I can see why some have doubts. The road has been pretty rocky so far and a good deal of faith is required. In my view, any manager of a top-6 club would be looking over his shoulder after the performances and/or results against Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley. Frankly, they were abject efforts from which we deserved nothing. I am convinced that a journeyman coach, like Moyes for example, would have had a much better points haul from those fixtures.

Against that, we have a win over Chelsea, victory at Anfield, 4 points taken from Leicester City and magnificent efforts against Man Utd and Spurs. Results which I believe a journeyman coach, say Moyes for example, would not have achieved.

Why should this be so? Why have Fulham and Burnley come to Goodison Park and thoroughly outplayed us? Come to our ground apparently confident they could outplay us? Why did Sean Dyche and Scott Parker believe that their players had the technique, skill and confidence to come and set about us?

Perhaps their limited coaching experience makes what they see in training look good. Maybe they see that, outside of Man City, there is, especially this season, not that much between many teams. When one looks at the calibre of player that Carlo has coached in the past, it is likely that the last year has been an eye-opening experience. I think that Carlo has little confidence in this squad and has managed it accordingly.

I tend to take the view that, overall, this might be a sound enough approach. It does at least suggest that Carlo has a long-term strategy and aspires to the very highest standards; it seems to me that is something that a journeyman coach is not able, or is not afforded time, to do.

I bow to no-one in how pissed-off I get after some of our desperate shows. After calming down, I try to take the view that these are stumbling blocks on a road to great times.

Also, what else is there to do other than believe? Carlo Ancelotti may well be Mr Moshiri's last throw. There is no Plan B now. We'll know soon enough if Carlo gets a squad he trusts.

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:53:54
Andy, thanks for the article, this will be an ongoing debate.

There’s unrivalled passionate support and opinion on ToffeeWeb. After all those stinking results that you mention we are all sick to our stomachs. It feels like a bucket of cold water has been thrown on the flickering flames of optimism that we’re keeping Evertonians warm his winter.

After witnessing being comprehensively outplayed by Fulham on our own pitch, fans have an absolute right to question what is going on. I am still, even now, reeling from that.

Often it is difficult to see the bigger picture, especially after another soul destroying defeat by Burnley. But seeing the bigger picture is the best way of not overreacting. Our away form is Champions League class, clear fourth from top. It must prove something is right.

Carlo has to adjust tactics accordingly at home and play to our strengths, at least until the end of the season. We are far too predictable and easy to play against at home. Any team knows they close down our midfielders as rapidly as possible and our game breaks down. This basic tactic is repeated against us every home match with overwhelming success. Opposition managers don’t need to burn the midnight oil working this out. It is common knowledge.

Carlo knows the problems, he alluded to us not having the technical ability to play it out of defence as he would like. He now has to belatedly adjust that. I think we can be sure that the problem will be at least partly addressed in the summer. Two quality midfield signings with tenacity, speed and some goals, and a quality right back which really should have been signed last summer.

Past glories and achievements mean nothing if a manger is presiding over a decline in results and performances. Carlo’s tenure is obviously a work in progress with enough positives to keep the faith.

This coming summer transfer window is a watershed moment, I have confidence and my optimism for progress under Carlo Ancelotti is still burning.

Barry Rathbone
2 Posted 16/03/2021 at 12:19:09
I said in another thread it is a matter of record that Carlo's success has come via technically gifted players abrasive, battling teams are not his thing.

Love his class, dignity and general demeanour but ultimately he will fail if enough gifted players are not recruited in the summer which is highly likely.

I want to believe but my head rules my heart nowadays and the odds are a plan to emulate something akin to his Milan side will end up sliding down the shute in the way others have.

Pity really he's such a nice guy

Peter Warren
3 Posted 16/03/2021 at 21:52:13
Tend to agree he’s not messiah like Kendal or Clough. However, I think he’s a superb manager and provided he gets money we will get better each and every season.

That’s all I ask / better every season / not much to ask. I think we’re better this season than last so happy with that. That said will be disappointed if we don’t achieve Europe given our start and I think we’ve had v good luck (I appreciate different thread explored this and many disagree).

We have an uphill struggle at weekend / let’s see Carlo earn his status as a top quality manager

Danny Broderick
4 Posted 17/03/2021 at 04:14:20
For a manager who can only do it with established teams, he hasn’t half invested time to make us hard to beat! He seems to finally be getting the best out of Pickford - Sod’s law he is now injured! And our defence is now looking much stronger after being too open earlier in the season.

There are and will be bumps in the road. It’s obvious that the balance in midfield is still not right. We don’t create enough, especially on the right hand side. Any time we play a selection of last season’s midfield (Bernard, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Gomes), we are below par. I’m sure Carlo can see this with his own eyes. But it takes time to get players in and out.

I predict we will have tough spells again next season - we are in transition after several years of manager changes and a poorly assembled squad. But happily, the majority seem keen to give Carlo time. The alternative is more transition.

It’s a 3 year job minimum turning around what Carlo inherited. Let’s give the man time and get behind him.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 17/03/2021 at 10:28:17
Thanks Andy for a very good post, Tony (1), you must, like me, wonder why we can get the results away from home, then struggle, throw away even, points at home, because Carlo plays with different systems, why change winning tactics for head scratching attempts in home games against teams that we should be beating, where long before the end of these games we know we won’t come back, then to continue these same useless tactics again and again with the same results, unless we get lucky and hold out for 1-0 wins but still playing football that knocks you sick.

I know injuries have played a part in the last few weeks but they don’t really account for such weak and lamentable performances, I won’t Carlo, and more importantly Everton, to succeed, but doubts have grew in my head with each, seems to me, avoidable defeat. These recent injuries tell me that the rest of the season will bring more misery than joy to our season, I sincerely hope I’m wrong but I doubt it.

Brian Harrison
6 Posted 17/03/2021 at 11:20:59
There is no doubt that Carlo is used to working with more skilful players than he has inherited with this squad. I think the reason why we have had some good results away is that he thinks this group of players offer him limited attacking options, so he has moulded a solid defensive set up and looks to hit sides on the break. And in most of the away games we have managed to score first which helps seeing we are far more comfortable defending than attacking. But at home the onus is on us to try and play a more attacking style and so far we end up being far more open than we are away and therefore look more vulnerable at the back than we do when we play away. Our midfield really doesnt have a player who can dribble with the ball, and also most of our midfield players apart from Doucoure have very little pace so they cant join the attack as their lack of pace stops them getting back if possession is lost.

The other and more worrying thing is our lack of goals, apart from DCL and Richarlison and some from Sigurdsson, James has goals in him but the worry is how often can we get him on the park. Our goal return from the rest of the team is pretty poor, I know Keane has got a decent record this season but he is the only defender who looks like scoring, albeit from set pieces. I cant remember Holgate or Digne even having a shot from open play and Coalman hasn't figured in the goal tally much this season. Bernard and Iwobi don't carry hardly any goal threat, then when you add to that the poor goal return we get from our midfielders whether it be Gomes, Davies, Allan, Doucouré or Delph when fit again just highlights the problems Carlo has got. So to have so few options of where goals are going to come from its no surprise that Carlo sets us up to mainly rely on DCL and Richarlison.

The other point is if Carlo cant turn this club around who does Moshiri turn to. We have tried bringing in managers who haven't really done anything but we have had this idea maybe if they had money to spend they could be good. Koeman certainly knew how to spend money just a shame it wasnt spent more wisely. Then Silva who again was another gamble that didn't work, and it forced Moshiri to appoint Allardyce, the less said about that the better, although he will still claim that we finished 8th in his only season. So if a proven winner like Carlo cant turn this club around then maybe Moshiri might think, lets just get BMD built and then sell up. At least by building a new stadium he may get more back than he actually paid for the club.

Jay Wood

7 Posted 17/03/2021 at 12:36:48
I thought this was as appropriate thread as any current threads to wish all Blues wid a touch of de Oirish in 'em a glorious St Paddy's day.

Nice article here recalling some of our Irish Blues, a top dozen. Far from complete. The Ring brothers won't like it! Pretty embarassing to see Darron Gibson's name on it, but otherwise a good stroll down Memory Lane.

Everton's Irish Players

Andy Crooks
8 Posted 17/03/2021 at 17:46:27
Many thanks for that, Jay, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly no pubs today. However, will improvise. I suspect that every Blue has Irish blood.
Thomas Richards
9 Posted 17/03/2021 at 18:29:50

Almost every scouser has an irish ancestry.
Second capital of Ireland.

John Raftery
10 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:10:48
Thanks for the article Andy. The poor home form against what we might call average sides goes back to the early months of last season when we lost at home to Sheffield United and Norwich under Marco Silva. Things improved immediately after Carlo’s arrival but slipped back after the restart in June when we were very lucky to grind out draws against Southampton and Villa before losing 3-1 to a team already relegated, Bournemouth.

For the last two years at Goodison we have generally performed better against teams which are expected to dominate possession. In those games we have been able to sit tight, defend in our own penalty area and play on the break. In other words we can play as though we are away from home.

It goes without saying we need to strengthen the squad with younger, quicker, less injury prone players with more quality and more goals from more positions. We need to do that within finite resources, for unlike Chelsea we cannot afford to spend £71m on a young forward who takes more than half a season to settle or £47m on a striker who plays 14 games without scoring.

We need players who will enable the team to control play with the ball in the opposition half. We need players who can drive forward at pace, deliver quality passes and offer a goal threat. We need players who are not only alert to danger but also have the pace to stifle opponents playing on the counter. We need defensive players with the speed and awareness to be comfortable playing a high line.

I am sure Carlo knows what is required. In the meantime he is doing what all effective managers do; he is making the best of what he has got.

Si Cooper
11 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:30:55
I wouldn’t call the overall display against Burnley as abject. Sometimes you have to give the opposition credit.
Home advantage isn’t what it usually is without full stadia and this squad isn’t at the level where they can afford to let other teams generate even modest momentum against them.
I believe Ancelotti deserves, and will get, a standard summer break, transfer window and pre-season before anyone should makeup their minds about his capabilities at a club at our current level.
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 18/03/2021 at 00:41:42
Does Carlo expect too much? Or is it us that expects too much?

Is it too much to expect players to pass forward AND to the right coloured shirt?
Is it too much to expect a bit of running and chasing...even 1 paced running and chasing if thats all you've got in you, for half a years nurse's wages PER DAY.

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 18/03/2021 at 12:31:31
I do think there are no glass ceilings as far as Ancelotti is concerned. He will push the team and players to play with a open system, requiring good tactic and technical ability from the players. The players are coached to achieve the desired left of performance.

But the problem is that some players are not achieving this level. This is particularly exposed at home and Carlo acknowledged this in his post match interviews.

To achieve a Top Four position the team and players have to perform to this level consistently. Carlo has to reassess the situation if he wants to achieve progress this season and achieve a Top Six finish, considering the player performances.

So the answer to Andy's question is yes. But Car!os is going to have to readjust to achieve the necessary progress this season to push on next season, particularly home.

I expect a more defensive model at home with the aim of a nil nil draw and the hope of nicking a goal and and the points. Chelsea employed this tactic against Leeds last week. I believe Carlos will be able to adjust.

Brendan McLaughlin
14 Posted 19/03/2021 at 23:12:15
Just a minor criticism, Andy... Scott Parker a journeyman coach? Is he not one of the youngest Premier League managers? He got Fulham promoted and, after a baptism of fire... just might keep them up. I'd love to be a journeyman like Scott Parker in my profession

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