Carlo Ancelotti: Is Everton his biggest challenge?

Thursday, 6 August, 2020 28comments  |  Jump to last
"'Deadwood, mismanagement & a total rebuild" – Kevin Ratcliffe talks to Phil McNulty about the massive task facing Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park

» Read the full article at BBC Sport


Reader Comments (28)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 06/08/2020 at 08:11:14
Pretty hard-hitting for a mainstream media article, but Kevin Radcliffe just echos the many crystal clear observations posters on ToffeeWeb have been agonizing over repeatedly:

"Maarten Stekelenburg, Jonas Lossl and Joao Virginia... I wouldn't want any of those reserve goalkeepers playing on a regular basis for Everton. It might sound harsh but standards must be high." **

"Recruitment has let Everton down. They have spent over the odds and paid ridiculous wages for average players."

Ancelotti and Brands now have a bloated squad where so much deadwood has been assembled some cynics have suggested the club's Finch Farm training HQ is in danger of being labelled a fire hazard.

Who will take Sigurdsson, Fabian Delph, Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and even Alex Iwobi, signed for an eye-watering £34m from Arsenal on deadline day last summer?

"It is also difficult to see where the leaders are when they are losing games."

** I particularly appreciated the appeal to higher standards that Martin Mason among others has been relentlessly downplaying on here for years.

Patrick McFarlane
3 Posted 06/08/2020 at 08:54:06
Perhaps Ratcliffe's justified criticisms aired on a mainstream media platform will wake up the movers and shakers at the club because the thousands of criticisms which have been made on here and elsewhere have appeared to have fallen on deaf ears.

I'm not certain that the article helps us in the market place, as which self-respecting footballer would want to join our circus – unless the prospect of a significantly higher wage is what attracts them?

Ken Kneale
4 Posted 06/08/2020 at 09:05:46
Michael - I agree. I would want to align my Everton standards to Radcliffe's rather than those administrators and players who have run Everton into the ground over recent decades.

My sadness is the ridiculous narrative produced during the Moyes & Kenwright love-in is how we are now viewed by all except ourselves or those with a deep knowledge of football.

A good article – I don't expect much to alter sadly.

Christopher Timmins
5 Posted 06/08/2020 at 09:12:06
The unvarnished truth. It's a huge task ahead for the current manager given how far down the pecking order the club is when players are deciding on competing transfer offers.
Ajay Gopal
6 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:26:24
It can be done - we will need all of Ancelotti's experience and some long overdue luck in signing a couple of game-changing (in more sense than one) players.

Plus, our youth team is the one shining light amidst the doom and gloom. We have two world class players in Richarlison and Digne, plus the young brigade – Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Kean, Gordon, Branthwaite - hopefully Gibson and Kenny as well – supported by a decent squad of Coleman, Keane, Davies, and Gomes.

The remaining 7 or 8 players need to be replaced – being realistic, it won't happen in one window; it will take another 3 or 4 transfer windows to eliminate the low-performers and build up a strong squad. Until then, I live in hope.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:47:27
They'll sugar coat it, call it something else. But if they don't back him to the hilt... and I'm sure promises were made during the Usmanov's purely friendly 'and if you happen to be passing just drop in' – tea party.

He'll be within his rights to walk in 18 months.

Oh, and Brands, with only 12 months(?) left on his contract, has to get his bit spot on too.

Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 06/08/2020 at 11:07:34
Very much a preach for the converted which doubtless includes Ancelotti, Brands et al.

The concern is the club has done exactly what umpteen other clubs have done and spunked an irreplaceable fortune and now sits precariously on the edge of a slippery slope. Be assured: if the summer window doesn't pan out and results and performances remain, the calls for everyone's head, including Carlo's, will be swift and loud.

Joe McMahon
9 Posted 06/08/2020 at 11:10:50
Posts 4 + 5, I completely agree (sadly). Nevermind top players, even the better ones will turn this unfashionable basketcase antiquated club down.

I feel having a named manager won't make a difference to today's millionaire footballer; they won't fancy Everton if any other offer is available, unless crazy money is offered. Bernard's and Sigurdsson's huge salaries are hardly getting much return, this isn't the way forward.

Mark Murphy
10 Posted 06/08/2020 at 11:38:41
Digne is good but he isn't 'world class'! That's part of our problem as fans – we get excited about average to good players and think we should finish higher. We need to build on promising young talent around older wise heads. Once / if we achieve top 6, we can push on but, until we do, we won't get, or keep, the “world class” players.
Tony Everan
11 Posted 06/08/2020 at 13:24:51
Energy and composure are two qualities that Kevin is calling for. Add fight, a winning mentality and reliability. We desperately need a couple of central midfielders who can give us that.

Watching us chasing shadows at home against Southampton and Bournemouth was a sorry sight. At times it reminded me of Sunderland before they disappeared down the plughole.

In midfield, we are relegation standard. That's a measure of how important it is this window to transform our midfield into an organised fighting unit. Every other issue can follow once that is sorted out.

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 06/08/2020 at 13:39:17
Ratcliffe was very vocal in opposing Marco Silva from the first time we pursued him. He was proven right on that front.
Kevin Bennett
13 Posted 06/08/2020 at 13:46:34
Big statement to make that Richarlison and Digne are world class!

I doubt it, Richarlison is potential if he wants it (which he does to be fair by the looks of it) if he stops going down and squealing with every brush of wind. But a bit to go yet for me.

Digne for me isn't and personally I think he's over-rated, as a defender, not good enough. I worry about keeping a full-back in a team because he's good at set-pieces. I'd like to be wrong as his commitment seems to be there but definitely a bit to go before he's classed as 'world class'

Just my thoughts...

Mick Conalty
14 Posted 06/08/2020 at 14:35:52
Why did Napoli sack Ancelotti???
John Zapa
15 Posted 06/08/2020 at 14:57:35
Ancelotti is the wrong type of manager for this club at this time. We need a manager who can get better results out of the existing players. Someone who can improve and raise the level of each member of the squad, similar to what Klopp has achieved.

Ancelotti at his age and stage of career is happy to be on Easy Street and isn't hungry enough to be on the training ground all day with these players. Since he joined, I cannot see any value addition that he has contributed.

Patrick McFarlane
16 Posted 06/08/2020 at 14:58:35
According to a report on the BBC:

Napoli have sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti less than three hours after he guided them into the Champions League knockout stages.

The Serie A club had not won in nine games in all competitions until Tuesday's 4-0 success at home to Genk.

Last month the manager and Napoli players were in a high-profile dispute with president Aurelio de Laurentiis.

De Laurentiis ordered the team to attend a week-long training camp but Ancelotti and his players all returned home

Carlo Sacked

Training Camp Dispute

Andrew Bentley
17 Posted 06/08/2020 at 15:05:03
The season that Leicester won the Premier League, weren't they favourites to go down? Amazing what you can do when you have a strong team spirit and a team that plays to its strengths.

Now granted, they had Kante, Vardy and Mahrez – but until that title winning season, no-one rated them as world class. And the rest of the team were journeymen and other teams' cast-offs.

For all Moyes's faults, he was good at buying players who bought into the work ethic and commitment needed to be an Everton player. No-one would have described Tim Cahill as 'world class' but he bust a gut every time he played – which can't be said for many of our current players.

We've not had this identity for a long time and so our “team” looks like a bunch of individuals that don't get on together. I aspire for truly World Class players in our team but, right now, I want some fight and steel in that midfield and defence that can give us a foundation to build a team identity on. Then let's see how Richarlison, Digne, & Gomes (the only 3 I think have true quality in our team although a notable mention for Holgate after his season's performance) perform with that solidity around them allowing them to attack more.

Give me a collective team to get excited about rather than the odd “world class” talent who comes for the money and looks like they don't give a shit. Football is still a team sport and so we need to focus on getting the right characters in to build a team around.

We've not had that for years...

Andrew Bentley
18 Posted 06/08/2020 at 15:20:08
Reflecting on what I wrote above, it’s clear to me that we are missing a captain who sets the standards and pulls it all together.

Who was the last decent captain we had at Everton who really galvanised the team and held everyone to account?

Graham Hammond
19 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:08:00
Andrew #18,

Wise, observant words sadly. I wasn't really a fan of Moyes but I have to say that he essentially ran the show and, through slightly gritted teeth, we were better for it. Too many cooks now and look at the mess that has followed.

Ultimately, we have largely bought shit players, often sold the wrong players, bought players only to play them out of position and so on. The Director of Football thing has not worked: Marcel Brands has fundamentally failed to understand what is required to succeed as a player in the Premier League and bought accordingly. It is far better that one guy is responsible so that when things go wrong (as they have at Everton) he is removed, there has to be accountability and currently, everyone can point to someone else being at fault.

We are a complete mess and in a complete mess. I don't think the recruitment of players could have been any worse than it has been. So many lessons to learn, it is painful.

Erik Dols
20 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:08:56
Our recruitment has been all over the place for years now. Why get Walsh and Brands as DoF – both build their reputation by buying unearthed gems from smaller French clubs (Walsh) or from Latin America (Brands) – if you're going to end up buying fringe players from Barcelona and Juve and buying players from other Premier League clubs?

Same for managers – Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce, Silva, Ancelotti. Martinez and Silva are more the type to work with unearthed gems, Koeman and Ancelotti are better in working with arrived players. Allardyce, don't get me started.

In my opinion, Everton needs to make a choice and stick with it for the coming years. If we trust in Ancelotti, there is little point in keeping Brands as DoF. But as much as I like Ancelotti, I seriously doubt if we can get the players he wants without breaking FFP.

Jay Harris
21 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:31:24
Football is a simple game: to be better than other teams you need better players. You get better players by recruiting them and/or developing them. The team needs to play like a team, fit, organized, motivated and playing for each other.

We fail at the first hurdle, ie, we don't have better players in key positions.

Goalkeeper – midtable keeper.

Back 4 – capable of top 8 but needs more work

Midfield – relegation standard. Need more bite, more goals, better passing and creativity.

Forwards - capable of top 6 but not winning the league.

It is obvious to a blind man, and has been for years, that our midfield, even with Gueye in it, was not good enough and did not create or score enough goals.

Gueye was great at covering ground, winning the ball and laying it off to the more creative players but I believe you need more from all the central midfield players. IMO, we miss Fellaini more than Gueye. He was box to box, could score goals and ruffle the opposition.

FFP may be an issue but I would say sod that – even if we get a big fine or banned from Europe for a year it would be worth it just to create a team worthy of the name Everton.

I believe in Carlo we have as good a manager as we can get right now but we have to create the conditions in which he can operate successfully and that does not include interference from Kenwright or Moshiri. Brands also needs to be stronger and not just a doormat for the board.

Sort the boardroom out and watch the change in atmosphere and form on the pitch.

Bobby Mallon
22 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:57:40
Mark Murphy @10, tell us why Digne isn't world-class... is it because he plays for us? And why is Richalison portrayed as world class?

We are obsessed with this idea we have a poor squad; we don't. What we had was a manager who was checking out his playing staff. He now knows who to play and who not. We will sign 3 players and finish top six next season

Bobby Mallon
23 Posted 06/08/2020 at 17:00:31
Jay Harris well said.
Graham Hammond
24 Posted 06/08/2020 at 17:14:25
Jay #21, Fellaini was quality and we do miss him (along with Gueye) and have never replaced him adequately.

I can recall a few posts on this site saying that James McCarthy was a step up on Fellaini, absolute bollocks, Gareth Barry was the better of the two in that Midfield 90% of the time they played together. Fellaini did have his limitations, as did Barry, but both would walk into our current midfield without question or doubt.

Ian Horan
25 Posted 06/08/2020 at 17:14:26
A couple of views on Marcel Brands here in my opinion are slightly off. Marcel was brought in to head up recruitment and refocus/restructure the academy. Signings have been hit and miss, yes, however, we won't see the fruit of his labours on the academy immediately. Also lets be honest here he has a hell of a task getting rid of the deadwood.

The deadwood was not helped by Kenwrights sentimental resigning of Rooney directly after we signed Klaassen and Gilfy. £160k per week for Rooney whose legs had gone. I don't remember Rooney playing outside. Yet Gilfy did and got slaughtered. EFC are a mess and the best success we could have is a couple of cup runs whilst staying safe midtable as the deadwood is moved on.

Jason Li
26 Posted 06/08/2020 at 18:04:15
I've got a feeling there is no other solid buyer for Gabriel.

Arsenal just laid off loads of staff and signed Willian. Man Utd need money for Sancho. Chelsea have over £100m committed too, and too many defenders already, plus need a keeper first.

If Napoli want Gabriel, well they have to sell to buy too. Allan at 29 is going down in value daily, and so we can tell them to park Allan until we buy Gabriel, so Napoli don't have cash to do anything until after we've bought Gabriel and then Allan.

The positive for us is that if we buy Gabriel, then Keane had a very good half-season after lockdown, and if he is the one to move on, there is a good chance someone takes him, say like Leeds or Fulham who want to stay up in their first season back.

Anyway, all fun and games until Carlo lands his signings.

Darren Hind
27 Posted 07/08/2020 at 10:55:30
If Digne and Richarlison are world class, there will be half-a-dozen full-backs and at least a dozen Premier League strikers proper preening themselves this morning.

World class???

Steve Brown
28 Posted 07/08/2020 at 10:57:45
Digne and Richarlison are very good players, but they ain't world class.
Clive Rogers
29 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:44:18
Richarlison is a good finisher and a constant threat, but what lets him down is the number of times he loses possession. His passing is not good and he often runs into trouble and loses the ball cheaply.

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