“He explained he didn’t particularly want me” – Doucouré on quickly getting Ancelotti onside

Monday, 14 February, 2022 3comments  |  Jump to last
Abdoulaye Doucouré has given an interview to L'Equipe, where he revealed his transfer from Watford to Everton was not initially requested by Carlo Ancelotti back in September 2020.

“He is the most human coach I have met. He was also very honest. When I arrived, he explained to me that he did not particularly want me at the beginning but that the leaders had ended up convincing him,” Doucouré said.

The 29-year-old explained how he managed to win over Ancelotti at Everton.

“My first day in training coincided with the day before a match. Carlo comes to see me on the field and says to me: ‘So, Abdou, do you want to play tomorrow?' I say yes, of course,” the midfielder explained.

“He said to me, a little mockingly: ‘Well, we'll see if you're training well', and he left, laughing. I knew then that I was going to play and I did not want to disappoint him. He reassured me, freed me. He was one of the men who changed my game.

“Carlo had invited us to dinner at the restaurant, me, Allan and James, the three recruits, with our agents. We had spent a warm, relaxed time, talking about everything, football, but also our lives, until 1 or 2 in the morning. I had never experienced that in my career.”

Doucouré also revealed how Ancelotti maintained a positive atmosphere within the squad.

“Sometimes the day after a game that I lost, I could not be very well. He detected it on my face,” Doucouré stressed.

“So, on the field, he came to see me and said: ‘You had a good game, Abdou'. I knew that I had made a poor match but he looked me in the eye and insisted: ‘You did what I asked you'. He wants you to be in a permanently positive state of mind, happy to do your job.”  

Reader Comments (3)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 14/02/2022 at 15:28:39
That's an interesting little story from Doucoure regarding Ancelotti.

Doucoure speaks very highly of him, whoever he is.

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 14/02/2022 at 16:06:15
Interesting that when we signed him, it was portrayed as "Marcel and Carlo" as if they were side-by-side on getting him to join, with the Watford connection going all the way back to Marco Silva.

Sounds in fact very much like the standard Director of Football model in action – that we all said was not working at Everton – with Marcel Brands and the player's agent making it happen, and then having to convince Don Carlo.

James Flynn
3 Posted 14/02/2022 at 16:45:26
Michael (2) - Really?

How Doucoure presents it, this reads as exactly the way one expects the DoF/Manager combo to work.

A player's name comes up, the manager initially has misgivings, there's discussion that convinces the manager the player will be good to have and the manager OKs the move.

Carlo must have liked him. He pushed him straight into the side.

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