Ancelotti on forming relationships and setting expectations

Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 36comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti has been talking about his early priorities as Everton boss as he continues to get to grips with his new surroundings at Finch Farm.

Man-management and personal rapport have been a hallmark of the Italian's glittering career and he says that establishing those relationships with players is both the most important and the most difficult part of his job.

Ancelotti has been in the Everton post just over a month and has overseen seven matches in all competitions, during which time he has perhaps seen his new charges at their best, as they were for 93 minutes against Newcastle the Saturday before last, and their worst, for 60-odd bewildering seconds at the end of that game against the Barcodes and as he saw at Anfield in the FA Cup earlier this month.

He is learning a lot about the squad he has inherited and with the benefit of a 10-day break, the players will be getting familiar with their new boss and what he expects of them.

“Learning about the players' character is the most important part of my job,” Ancelotti told evertontv. You need to have different relationships, considering the character of the people.

“I want to have an open relationship with the players, I don't want to be above them or below them. I would like to have a relationship at the same level, so I have no problem to manage these kinds of things.

"There is discipline in a team, there are some rules and everyone has to respect those. That is another part of my job.

"After that, the relationship has to be individual, then you build a relationship with the team as a whole.

"The most difficult part of the job is to build a strong relationship, to convince the players of what they are doing.

“The easiest part is to be myself, I have no difficulty being myself. You have to be yourself when you manage a team.”

Read more of Ancelotti's comments at


Reader Comments (36)

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Bob Parrington
1 Posted 28/01/2020 at 06:28:02
I take it this is a fill-in because of the 11 day gap between games. Nevertheless, it shows the character of the guy. It is no wonder he has been successful. Hopefully, his presence as Everton Manager will help create success for the club before too long.
David Pearl
2 Posted 28/01/2020 at 07:32:35

or maybe it's a filler before the transfer window shuts. Will it pass with a whimper? Obviously not getting a finished striker in last summer helped DCL with the minutes he needed even if it seems detrimental to our season as a whole.

If we stick to the current playing system l wouldn't be too upset if we don't sign anyone. Then again, can our midfield continue to play like that week in week out?

As ever, we wait... and a long wait for the next game because we ain't to cup because arrRRrRRgghh

Anthony Hawkins
3 Posted 28/01/2020 at 08:36:16
@David - we have to get someone in or we'll stick around the same position until the seasons end. Fair enough if the club are happy with that but the squad needs a huge kick up the arse along with an injection of quality in midfield and up front.

Can that wait until summer?

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 28/01/2020 at 09:29:09
All very true, as far as it goes, but if rules are broken, discipline neglected and relationships difficult is it enough to see the player dropped or even moved on or is that more dependent on results as the two may not necessarily be mutually inclusive.
Dan Nulty
5 Posted 28/01/2020 at 09:45:46
I'll be shocked if we get someone in this window. We risk being fined under FFP don't we if we spend more money?

We need to trim the squad right back then improve it. What I would say is that the summer is going to be interesting. Ancelotti will attract a quality of player hopefully that we need.

Pat Kelly
6 Posted 28/01/2020 at 10:00:49
It's all very touchy feely. He doesn't want to be above them or below them. Where's the leadership the team desperately needs ? He said after that screw up against Newcastle that they did nothing wrong !
Brian Harrison
7 Posted 28/01/2020 at 10:33:52
I think what the last 4 years has taught us is changing managers and throwing money at the problem hasn't worked. Maybe if Moshiri had appointed somebody of the quality of Ancelotti at the start instead of letting poor managers spend as if money was no object, we wouldnt be in the position we are in now. Because of the irresponsible spending we are now in the position of not being in a position to back Ancelotti with the funds he needs, so we will have to spend within the FFP limits.

Getting some of the dross out the door will be a really tough job, as when you are paying journeymen players £100,000 per week, who outside the top 4 could afford them. So the middle to bottom clubs who may see these players as an upgrade for them wouldnt consider paying these players anywhere near the money they earn at Everton. So is it any wonder that these players are reluctant to leave the club, some may happily go on loan but actually getting them out the door permanently is a whole different ball game.

I read the article by Ancelotti and he talks a lot of sense, which you would expect from such an experienced and successful manager. Even Alex Ferguson realized towards the end of his career that the hairdryer was less and less effective. I think the psychology involved in managing players is just as important as the footballing side. Last year I read Pochettino,s autobiography and he spent a lot of his time just talking to players about their wives and children and home life. Because he quite rightly thought you will get a lot more out of a player whose wife and children are happy, as opposed to one or both of these parties not being happy.

I think what we now need to do is let Ancelotti get on with his job and in 4 years time lets see where we are. Will there be down days in this journey absolutely, both Klopp and Pep had down days in their early years at their clubs. But we need to realize that Ancelotti has won everything there is to win in the game, so if anybody is capable of turning this club around its him. So give him as much as we can give him to spend while making sure not to transgress the FFP rules, and let him spend the next 4 years building this club back to where it used to be many decades ago.

Derek Knox
8 Posted 28/01/2020 at 10:42:40
I don't know about Carlo scratching his head after witnessing the commanding display for 93 minutes against Newcastle, then a volte-face collapse in sixty seconds.

That was virtually a new act of stupidity and surprise to myself in all my years of watching Everton, that set a new low, hopefully never to be repeated.

Like many have said our Transfer activity this January window seems doomed to be nothing other than speculation, and journalistic space filling and agent's touts.

I feel even more angered too that FFP rules prohibit us for the profligacy of Koeman, Allardyce and Silva, which is exacerbated when you look at the squad and consider what we actually have, for the money spent.

Am I right in thinking that after this season we have a clean slate in terms of FFP, or is it worked out over a period of years?

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 28/01/2020 at 10:54:20
Ancelotti will concentrate on the players he has, trying to improve them. It is increasing likely that the only new players will be those that come back from injury. All the transfer in players being talked about do not remotely fill the criteria that Ancelotti or Brands would be looking for, particularly those arising out of Italian press speculation. The only one that might be true, Is Rodriguez on loan, who Ancellotti has had out on loan before, when he managed another Club.
David Pearl
10 Posted 28/01/2020 at 11:18:43
Anthony #3

Forgetting the final 60 seconds of the last game that was probably the best I've seen is play for a long time.

With that in mind we had Richarlison, Gomes, Gbamin out plus a few of the younger players we all want to see given a chance in what is yet another season of mediocrity. So... it's a tough call.

Does Carlo need to work with what he has and not have to bed in others right now or do we try and pick up a couple players knowing that could mean another change in formation?

I'm doubting that Hammy will come here, it would make news but will be a costly experiment. Trouble is we can't trust our central midfield to be consistent. Or for us to actually find the net from all areas of the pitch. Digne is disappointing, Pickford... every time l see him l'm wondering if another clanger is on it's way.

Erm, l've confused myself. We need plenty.
Steve Walsh take a bow.

Brian Harrison
11 Posted 28/01/2020 at 11:19:01

I think that the FFP rules that govern the Premier league is you are not allowed to make a loss of more than £105 Million over a 3 year period. I think this is a rolling figure so seeing as we have just posted a £100 million loss for the past year so how it will effect next years spending I don't know. But I am sure there will be many on T/W who will know these rules inside out.

Kim Vivian
12 Posted 28/01/2020 at 11:56:42
Brian @7.
".... if Moshiri had appointed somebody of the quality of Ancelotti at the start instead..... "
With the exception of Koeman, who actually turned out to be a busted flush but pretty much everyone was optimistic about, I think getting someone of Ancellotti's calibre or close to it would have been nigh on impossible, and if the truth be told I think we got bloody lucky (hopefully time will show we did get lucky) with the timing and circumstances of his arrival here.

If Silva had gone sooner, or seen the season out we would not be seeing Carlo and Everton together. More likely Moyes.

As I say - time will tell but it still all feels a little surreal to me and I have massive respect for the guy. He makes the right noises to my ears and we (him and us) need to give each other time to make things work. I really do feel this time we may be on the cusp of good things.

Mal van Schaick
13 Posted 28/01/2020 at 11:58:22
Five teams on 30pts and all played 24 games. It will be the measure of Ancellotti with or without signings whether we reach top 6 level or remain mid table.
Brian Harrison
14 Posted 28/01/2020 at 12:47:47

You are probably right to say the chances of getting someone of the quality of Ancelotti when Moshiri took over were slim. But I wonder if he had said to Conte when he left Chelsea, I will give you £400 million to spend over 4 years and I will build a new stadium for us to play in, would he have not been tempted?

But I like you am delighted we have a man of the class and quality of Carlo Ancelotti. I know the doom mongers on here are suggesting he has only come to top up his pension, he could have taken up more lucrative posts than Everton if thats all he was concerned about.

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 28/01/2020 at 13:27:21

I think you are right, expensive lessons had to be learn't. Someone like Ancelotti may not have joined Everton earlier. He would have smelt a rat In my opinion Ancelotti has been watching Everton for a while and I suspect he thinks he is joining Everton at the right time. But he will not be rushed in building Everton up and will make full use of the time available early in his tenure to build realistic exspectations and develop fundamental foundations.

Whilst he had to be paid handsomely to join Everton, his tenure is based on football fundamentals of developing players / basic play and hard work. He knows that buying in expensive players does not guarantee success, which managers from Moyes till now, plus Directors and Fans had the delusional idea would work.

I expect Ancelotti to make slow and steady progress, leaving the Voodoo merchants to redress the his horlick they have made.

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 28/01/2020 at 13:49:07
Derek, Brian Harrison at 11 is right.

The big problem is that the year to be deleted from the 3 year period as far as FFP is concerned is one that saw us make a £30m profit. Therefore, to stand still, we need to make a £30m profit.

According to the financial experts, eg The Esk, if we successfully complete the planning application we can offset a lot of those losses into stadium development. I can't remember the precise figure but it was around £50m. This would mean that we would potentially have £50m more to spend in the summer. Also, we then effectively have two sets of accounts, with a separate one for the stadium.

So right now, everything is riding on us getting things going on the stadium before the next accounts are due.

Hopefully, someone can correct me if I have understood this wrong.

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:15:44
Nobody will be signing before the window closes, I'm a tad disappointed that's seem to have lost the art of pinching those canny little deadline day signings we once used to.

Gareth Barry, Aaron Lennon, Jelavic, Fellaini or a little dabble in the MLS for a short term loan, it's lost its appeal a bit now the transfer window hasn't it.

I'm not convinced we are a top half team on them performances I've seen, the Newcastle game was great really until we completely “Everton-ed” it in injury time but it proves we are still not good enough or wise enough.

The Man City, Brighton, West Ham and Liverpool matches, well the performances were all poor or patchy and not enough was earned from them.

Knowing Everton we will play awful at Watford and lose, that's what we do isn't it?

Every time we have a chance to look to we end up facing down.

Conor McCourt
18 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:17:41
Brian I know most of our fans are delighted to have Carlo here especially because of his pedigree but I'm surprised that the football world thinks we are so lucky to have him.

We can debate all we like about other factors but in his last 3 roles there was a downwards shift which resulted in him losing his job. His stock has never been lower (rightly or wrongly), in fact he wanted the Arsenal job but they didn't want to even talk to him despite no payoff. None of the top clubs in Italy,England or Spain wanted him.

Certainly many of our fans think it was a great coup and I have no issue with that view but I think Carlo himself was the biggest beneficiary. He has come to the best league in the world, getting paid mega bucks on a long term contract, with a chairman who has backed his DOF/Managers and a top eight squad once his long term injuries return and a fan base desperate for success.

I can't think of any club that he could have realistically gone to who would have been better for Carlo and I'm not saying that with blue tinted spectacles. We need to get away from this lucky to have him nonsense.

Kim Vivian
19 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:22:55
Steve - does the recent stadium naming rights option not go some way to redressing those losses? Also with any luck we can shift some players out even if it is at an individual loss.
Jerome Shields
20 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:26:40
Steve #16

I agree the FFP rules are having a significant influence on transfer policy. The AGM was dominated by a undying current of skirting round them.

John Pierce
21 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:31:31
Steve, I believe you are right the stadium is effectively a vehicle to right off costs, I guess a bit like a deduction on your taxes.

On Ancelotti, he has no need to act like the big man, because his record tells you he is the man. He has a natural leader, and will not burn his bridges with players. Perhaps that stems from his own playing career?

I fully expect him to guide us to a top 7 finish, fate will decide if it's good enough for a Europa spot, a big deal for us to generate more income and allow him a greater kitty.

I'm still hopeful of a midfielder on loan as the window creaks shut.

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:35:42
No Kim. The naming rights goes into the stadium pot. That's why it was talked about as ring fenced and so is our argument about "financial doping". Of course the other clubs will then argue that it's £30m we don't need to put from the football side into the stadium side.

JP, I hope for a midfielder on loan. Why can't we, like PSG did with Mbappe, get around FFP by loaning someone with an obligation (rather than an option) to buy in the summer.

Joe McMahon
23 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:45:12
Jim B, we can't finalise any late deals until Bill has collected some extra tax machine paper from Costco, Poundland has run out.
Joe McMahon
24 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:45:58
Fax Machine that is.
Kunal Desai
25 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:52:52
Joe - he'll only get the fax machine paper to realise it doesn't work. He still hasn't paid the last electricity bill.
Steve Ferns
26 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:56:17
I hope Marcel Brands does send Bill out to get some fax machine paper, then perhaps a few more errands, like buying some elbow grease, a glass hammer, and other fool's errands.
Dennis Stevens
27 Posted 28/01/2020 at 15:08:10
Aye, Steve. Hopefully he'll send Kenwright out for a "Long Weight"!
Roger Helm
28 Posted 28/01/2020 at 15:12:34
It's not that our players are rubbish, most of them are or have been full internationals - it's just that they play rubbish at times, individually and collectively. If CA can get them playing to their potential consistently, and get the team itself better set up and motivated, we should be able to do a lot better with the current squad.

I think a good midfielder or perhaps two to cover our long-term injuries, even as a loan for the rest of the season, would be good business.

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:42:24
Carlo sounds like a bit of a wimp to me.
Dan Murphy
30 Posted 29/01/2020 at 03:58:37
Echo reporting CA wants to bring Allan over from Napoli. The guy was immense against the RS at Anfield. One of the best central mids in Europe. Great news if true, now or in off season.
Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 29/01/2020 at 07:22:29
Jim B, you could have a supermodel, naked, begging for it, but you'd be too scared to pull your kecks down, just in-case Purple Ackie, was hiding in the wardrobe!
Steve Ferns
32 Posted 29/01/2020 at 13:48:52
My position on Carlo Ancelotti, before he came in, was that we needed the opposite of him. I argued for someone young and hungry. Someone dedicated and eager to prove themselves, with Everton being the next elevation in their career. Someone who could be here for 10 years or so. But most importantly, someone who could get on and do the hard work on the training pitch, make the current players better, bring through the young lads, and not someone who is just going to sell off the best of the academy (Barkley) and bring in some overpaid and undermotivated mercenaries (Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin).

I always thought we would beat Chelsea under Duncan Ferguson. I thought it would be a repeat of Unsworth whereby we win the home games with a partisan crowd turned up to the max, and even if we are losing like we were to Watford, then the crowd would still roar us to victory. Like under Unsworth, the hard work, turning the ship around, was done. Ferguson handed the club over in 15th, rather than 13th, but had had a much shorter timeframe in which to work.

I always thought Carlo's impact would be immediate. He's a tactician rather than a coach. His changes are subtle tweaks rather than wholesale, and so we should notice an upturn immediately, and we have. The club have won half the league games and lost just once.

Where I doubted him, and still wait to be convinced, is on the training pitch. I looked for the positives on his appointment, and my first thought, was ok, if he brings in Paul Clement or someone like this it can work. Paul Clement being someone Carlo has worked with at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern, and whilst his managerial record can be questioned, his coaching reputation is in tact. Clement could coach the players to play Carlo's way in games. Instead, Davide Ancelotti is the one leading the training sessions. Sure, there's Carlo, orange whistle around his neck, stopwatch in hand, and interjecting when he sees fit, and clearly he is the one to impress. But it is Davide's voice we hear, it is him directing the play. I have no idea who designed or tailors the sessions to the games, perhaps Carlo or perhaps Davide.

Davide, under the guidance of his father, is not necessarily a bad coach to have. Perhaps Real Madrid players might question him and his authority. But Everton lack the superstars of the "world's biggest club". Davide has the academic qualifications to suggest he is a top coach in his own right, a degree in Sports Science, graduated top of his class with a near perfect score on completing the highest UEFA coaching badge. So as to regards training I shall wait and see, the proof of the quality will be in 6-12 months time.

Hunger and dedication were a big thing for me. The reason I posted is I just watched the Everton Ladies training video. Link

Here we have Carlo watching and saying a few words to the Everton Ladies side. Sure, there's nothing in that video at all. It's probably just a marketing exercise to publicise the Women's Derby at Goodison at the weekend. But I cannot recall one previous Everton manager doing this. There's other little things too, which paint the picture of someone dedicated to the job, not here for one last payday, and giving it his all. Contrast this to Koeman, our other superstar manager, the only "extra-curricular" activity I saw him do was an Everton golf day, because he loved his golf.

Another issue I had with him was his tendency to take a short term view, probably because the big clubs don't keep the same manager for very long, and I feared that like Koeman, he would sell off the best kids, or block their pathway, and instead sign the likes of Sigurdsson, Schniederlin, Tosun, Walcott, and Bolasie. All around 28 years of age when signed, and now financial millstones around our necks prohibiting us from spending more money on better players because they are on too big wages and no one wants to take that on.

Instead, and again it's only a "little thing": Link but here is our last training video from last week. In the video you might spot a tall skinny lad with an afro. This is Tyler Onyango. Tyler is a bright young thing playing for both the u23s and the u18s, and is compared (due to position and height) with Patrick Vieira. Tyler is only 16 years old. When was the last time an Everton manager had a 16 year old in first team training? Probably Moyes with Rooney. Carlo surprised me with this, and he looks committed to having a good look at the young lads. Also in the video you will spot Antony Evans, new signing Jarrod Branthwaite, and Morgan Feeney. Also there, as always is Denis Adeniran and Anthony Gordon. This video really surprised me and shows that he is going to do the opposite of what I feared.

It's all little things, incidental things, things many will consider irrelevant, but to me, these little things matter. If you get the little things right, then the big things happen as a result. Carlo has a lot of work to do, he's only just started the job, we are still firmly in the bottom half, we suffered an embarrassing collapse in our last game, we suffered an embarrassing humiliation at Anfield, but I am impressed with the way he has started and I am optimistic that he can make a significant impact on our fortunes.

Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 29/01/2020 at 15:05:09
Haven't watched those links Steve, because I feel a bit “tired” and that was the one thing I was hoping that Ancelloti was, when he joined Everton.

I was hoping he was “tired” of going into superstar squads, squads that manage themselves, but pull rank whenever they feel threatened, by too much change?

It's a long time since Ancellotti, has been given a job, that needs a lot more work than just overseeing and pandering, to these massive ego's, and hopefully he's here for at least the length of his contract, because I would love Everton, to come out the other side, with a real genuine Carlo Ancelotti stamp, running right through-out our club.

Simon Harrison
34 Posted 29/01/2020 at 15:16:32
Steve @33, I always thought Carletto would be a good fit for us for exactly the same reasons most people on TW think he wouldn't be. HIs last three managerial posts have all been 'truncated', (PSG, BM and SSC N), and I think he was, at 60, looking for a new challenge with less immediate pressure.

Mr. Moshiri has been following Carletto for nearly three years, and for once the stars aligned when MS was relieved of his post on 5.12.19. After looking at the 'usual suspects' on the managerial merry-go-round, lo and behold on 10.12.19, despite getting Napoli thru to the last 16 of the ECL.

Cue, all other avenues being put on hold, and a concerted effort was put into effect to get Carletto to Goodison. With such co-incidences such as 'bumping into' Mr. Usmanov in a social setting.

I believe that Mr. Usmanov is slowly, slowly integrating himself within the Everton setup.

Following on from this, I can only think that Carletto has been offered the 4.5 year contract to demonstrate his ability to kick-start an Everton revival.

As you pointed out in your excellent post, it appears that Carletto is trying to introduce members of the u23 and maybe u18 squads into 1st team training. I won't repeat what you have already said, but it is very encouraging.
My take on it is that because we are still financially hamstrung by extravagant contracts, and injuries to our two main midfielders, he needs to see if there is any strength in the junior teams, in case of further injuries. I don't see any incoming reinforcements this window, as even on a loan deal, it adds to costs due to additional wages.

The training looks interesting, and maybe, again, Carletto is waiting to see what he is working with, or Davidedo is working with, before hiring a 'top' coach to work with the current squad. As the old saying goes, you can't turn a cart horse into a thoroughbred!
Personally, I'm pleased to see DF still involved on the training park, AND that the lads have been introduced to the 'Rondo', even if they do need a kick up the arse, as that exercise needs to be done full on, and yet they seem to be laughing and having fun..?

I think Carletto is being the pragmatist and is working with the cloth he has been given. If he can firstly keep us up, and then push us up as far as possible in the league, for me 9th or better please. Then, with this squad he will have done well.
Even though the physical training seems to be going well, I do think that the club needs to bring in some sports psychologists to try and assess, and help improve the squads mental attributes, and resilience. Hopefully this could reduce the amount of times we 'do an Everton!'.

Re the results, Dunc got 5 from 9, yet, I couldn't help but feel against ManU, his subs in that game opened up our RHS which is exactly where the ball for Greenwood came from, and to me, we dropped two points rather than keep one. Then I think the energy, effort and emotion in the Leicester game, just drained us for the Arsenal game. However, he did have the team playing well for two out of four games, before they became leggy.
Carletto, has done well with two wins back to back, the loss to City was to be expected, but the display and player performance was poor, probably due to the tactics chosen. The FA cup tie was very disappointing, however, long-term, it might have been a blessing in disguise so we can focus on the league. Then a win against Brighton, with a few shakey moments in the last 10 minutes or so, followed up by an injury affected performance against West Ham, and point well kept, before the excellent performance against the toons, just a very disappointing result..?

The great thing is, that under both Dunc and Carletto we are seeing small improvements game on game. unfortunately, we are also seeing some familiar failings in the squad, and I think Carletto is trying to get to grips with his tactical substitutions, depending on who is available on the bench etc... Not to mention, who he can trust to do a job. Lastly re subs, he needs them warming up from the 50th minute, so when they do get called up, they aren't 'cold'.

As you say Steve, all these little changes and differences, or incrementals, are slowly getting us to become better slowly but surely...

I doubt there will be any cavalry coming over the hill. I doubt we'll have much money to send in summer, though hopefully we can have a decent pre-season tour; why not the USA and Australia to try and increase our wider Global market in conjunction with Tim Howard and Tim Cahill respectively; and give the players a change, and some warm weather training.

Lastly, in this four and a half year project, I genuinely believe Carlo is here for the long haul, and we all need to be patient, as were have a very rich benefactor who can't bankroll us yet, due to previous mistakes, and we have a manager who is having to adjust his modus operandi, to suit a squad of players whose level of professionalism and skill sets are well below his norm.

The scene is set for a frantic attempt to scramble up the league ladder, and waiting till we can off-load as many players as possible in the summer. Only then will we have a clearer picture, of what can be brought in. Though if I recall correctly, the year we drop is a year of profit, so our books will be even tighter. The first spade in the ground at the new stadium can't come soon enough, so we can start writing costs off against the stadium build. If it is started before 1.6.20, then that would be perfect!

Cheers again for the post Steve, very informative.

Paul Tran
35 Posted 29/01/2020 at 15:17:21
Steve, maybe he's just doing the things that good managers in all walks of life do, the things he did as a player, the things he did at Parma, which got him the first of his big jobs?

Managers get the top jobs because of the good results they get by doing the small, important things consistently well. As long has he keeps doing them and the club helps him, he'll do it for us.

Steve Ferns
36 Posted 30/01/2020 at 17:29:34
Simon, excellent follow up post.

Link to the latest training video released today. It shows just Gordon, Adeniran and Gibson from the u23s with the first team this time.

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