Carlo Ancelotti has changed the dial at Everton Football Club – of this there can be no doubt. If we think about the direction, and I use that word through gritted teeth, as for this writer there has been a significant lack of direction for the last 5 years, we have shifted.
Carlo Ancelotti is a serial winner, a man who wants to compete at the top end of the Premier League and also in Europe. Prior to his appointment, Everton have been looking to build slowly from a base of players brought in from other bigger clubs around the ages of 20 to 24. Carlo, in his one major transfer window, has discredited this theory somewhat and brought in 3 players who will all be 30 by the end of next season, but all of whom have dramatically improved our team.
Looking at the possibility of bringing in 28-year-old Isco from Real Madrid shows how much he has turned that dial within the hierarchy of the club. An Everton under Silva, Koeman, Allardyce or Martinez (and certainly Moyes, although this was out of his hands due to financial constraints) would never in a million years entertain buying worldies at the wrong stage of their careers on big wages. It would have been a bright prospect or a player already established but on fringes at a big club (eg, Lookman, Vlasic, Sandro, Iwobi, Bolasie, Walcott).
So why has Carlo been allowed to do this and why does this writer think it offers our best chance of success? Well, firstly, he has been allowed because of the pedigree he brings to the role. We haven’t had such a high-profile serial winner in the dugout in this writer's lifetime. Secondly, I think Farhad has grown tired of 5-year plans and splashing cash on players who deceive to flatter. No-one can say that the likes of Bolasie, Walcott, Lookman, Sigurdsson, Gomes or Iwobi have had good careers at Everton (and they are by no means our worst purchases).
The fascinating part of this for me then becomes whether it will provide Everton the much craved, and frankly, required success that we need? I think the answer is Yes, and I have thought long and hard about this. The "Jam Today or Jam Tomorrow" argument. If you look at where we were prior to the summer transfer window 2020, frankly, we were a mess. You could see this to some extent in the Newcastle defeat… lots of players with talent but collectively they were less than the sum of their parts. Lots of potential in the likes of Iwobi, Bernard and Gomes but not enough delivery for the needs of a team wishing to reach the heights. Now, following the acquisition of two starting midfielders and a maestro in James, we look strong because all of our best XI match up, player for player, with the best teams in the league.
So let’s say we go on to have a good season and, given how topsy-turvy the Premier League has been this season already, we finish in the Top 4. That would provide us with such a massive platform, along with the name of Carlo Ancelotti, to go to the market in summer 2021 as a destination club that top top players want to join, not the other team on Merseyside, as we have so often been viewed by foreign players. If we hadn’t taken this approach and tried to build slowly again, I think we might be looking at a Top 10 finish, which isn’t going to offer us this platform to attract the talents we want. If you wish to be successful, you need to be the sort of club where, when a top player becomes available, you are the club he wants to join.
We can see this trajectory most clearly with Manchester City. Cast your minds back 12 years when they had Mark Hughes in charge. He went and they got a big name in, in Maldini. The name (and probably a few quid) got some genuine talent to join (Silva, Aguero, Kompany, Nasri) and suddenly they were challenging for the Premier League title; the last decade is history where they now have one of the elite coaches in the world and one of the best squads in world football.
So I say, go for Isco, and anyone else that Carlo thinks will push us into those top echelons of English football. I would love for us to be a Leicester City in terms of player recruitment but we just don’t seem to be able to do it as well as they can, and you have to respect their model but, for Everton, that model doesn’t work. We tried this, and we did, and we ended up with loads of young frustrated players who ended up leaving, married with senior players who are now not even registered to play in our squad but getting £80k a week!
Because, if Carlo and Farhad can bring Jam Today, and our club can be re-birthed as a top English and European club in this season and the next, the future can be bright. All clubs go through cycles. I believe Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs are on downward cycles and the jury is out on Frank Lampard at Chelsea, so it could well be that, if we can have a great season and a great summer transfer window 2021, that a cycle of success for us starts from here on out. God knows it’s overdue, and our long-suffering fans deserve it more than any other set of supporters in the world. As they say, nothing but the best is good enough. Let’s eat our jam today, and let’s hope Carlo can make us all happy today and tomorrow rather than thinking about 5 years time. UTFT
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 07/11/2020 at 22:46:30
I disagree but more pertinently it is irrelevant the season relies on a good squad which Carlo has failed to produce.
Managers don't get time they need immediate major improvement which must continue in a straight line trend before the inevitable plateau, decline and sack. Solskjaer's fabulous start at Utd now counts for nothing.
All the managers in the Mosh era have fell foul of not grasping this nettle, including Carlo, so he is now on the Koeman/Silva road.
2 Posted 07/11/2020 at 23:41:22
Would any of our players start for Liverpool, City, Chelsea or Spurs? The four teams I expect to finish the season at the top.
3 Posted 08/11/2020 at 00:09:27
There's,loads of good time, to address today's failings, on th park.
4 Posted 07/11/2020 at 00:43:58
Jason #2 We have 3 players in my opinion who would walk into a top 4 team. Richarleson, Digne, and Allen. We have others like Rodriguez, Coleman whose better days are behind them whilst DCL hopefully can take the step up.
The big problem Moshiri has is that being a billionaire doesn't guarantee success like it did when Abramovich and Mansour bought City and Chelsea. Being a billionaire just about gets you a place at the prem table. Ffp is also a challenge to anyone wanting to break into the big boys party.
Jam today shouldn't mean us buying up Dad's army to see out their playing days.
To mean business we need to go out and buy a Grealish, Maddison type that a genuine top 4 team would want. The Moise Kean purchase raised eye brows from the big boys when we bought him and even though it hasn't worked out we need to go back to the well and try again whilst also adding to the squad with the Godfrey, Branthwait type signings.
When was the last time that we attracted a player that a top team also wanted? Snodin, Cottee I can't remember too many others.
5 Posted 08/11/2020 at 01:02:55
Pickford 30m. Not improving.
Mina 25m not good enough.
Sigurdsson 45m not good enough.
Iwobi 20+m not good enough.
Tosun 28m waste of money.
Walcott 20+m not good enough.
Do I need to go on?
Chelsea have Mount, Abraham. Liverpool brought Arnold through. Spurs, Kane. City, Foden.
We haven't managed to bring a class player into the team since Rooney.
Do we need to give our young talent a bit more of a try before we go into the 2nd division of the transfer market?
6 Posted 08/11/2020 at 03:24:42
7 Posted 08/11/2020 at 06:29:22
8 Posted 08/11/2020 at 08:36:16
We recruit young players with potential that is rarely fulfilled, or if it is, we are forced to sell them on to satisfy the balance sheet or the players ambitions.
We recruit established footballers who look great signings on paper but eventually they quickly become embroiled in the Everton culture and end up performing way below their abilities.
Injuries and suspensions are part and parcel of the game, but whenever Everton suffer from those two events, the team often goes into freefall and any optimism that is given to Evertonians is quickly dissipated.
Of course there will be ups and downs for each and every club, but why do we have to suffer such radical changes of fortune each and every season? Is it because our best runs aren't really built on anything solid or reliable, thus we are always prone to sequences of good form followed by awful.
I wrote on social media elsewhere that I wasn't happy with our early season performances despite the victories which accompanied them, we conceded too much ground and too many goals and whilst going forward we were easy on the eye we looked very vulnerable at the back.
It doesn't seem to matter who we employ as the manager or which players we buy and sell, the club doesn't seem capable of moving forwards on the pitch and we're always left wondering why this should be the case.
Everton has been in a jam for over two decades, how many more years do we all have to wait to taste sweet success rather than choke on the stale regurgitated offerings that we have all become so accustomed to.
9 Posted 08/11/2020 at 10:23:16
How can these teams appear to be better organised then us, how can they make average players perform and fight with more consistency than ours? It doesn't add up and it hasn't for years.
I berated myself for doubting our coaching staff after the first 4 matches of the season. I was amazed how well this staff could transform a squad simply by adding three new players. The abysmal football of the post-lockdown era appeared to be behind us but now it's rearing its ugly head again.
If we are brutally honest we have barely seen more than 4 good to very good displays from Everton this year.
We are like a car on the slow lane. We may well have started this season on the fast lane but now we are limping along the slow one while the younger modest models whizz past us.
Time to put our foot on the gas, isn't it?
10 Posted 08/11/2020 at 10:37:52
If a player like Sigurdsson is allowed not to tackle, pass back and side ways, provide no forward passing, not track back or make runs into the opposition penalty area he might as well be playing for the opposition defence. He is just one big block at the edge of the penalty area, who it would be better ignore and play around. But this is impractical and so he has a derogatory influence on the whole team.
Ancelotti selected him for all three games even having him as Captain. Most of us on seeing his selection knew what the result would be and it was exactly as predicted. Rodriguez is a luxury player, but playing round this block does not help.
With the addition of Sigurdsson's help, Southampton, Newcastle and Man United defences where confidently able to push up into midfield providing extra support, resulting in more pressure on the Everton backline, nullifying any wing back threat.
These three teams just played against Everton as they had been doing for this pass five seasons. Everton just looked as if they where being Managed or rather non Managed by Silva. All Ancelotti's individual coaching progress had gone right out the window and the elementary mistakes have returned. This was particularly the case in Everton's defensive play. Pickford does not inspire confidence and never will.
Why Ancelotti started Sigurdsson against Southampton could be exp!ained by the need of a dead ball specialised, but why he persisted with him since that, having only given him bit parts in prior to the previous international break, cannot be logically explained.
Others will say it is not just Sigurdsson, they are right but I advocate a start somewhere and Sigurdsson sticks out like a sore thumb.
11 Posted 08/11/2020 at 10:44:15
It needs sorting quickly because there are just to many gaps, and the middle of the park is to big at the minute, meaning Everton have become very easy to play against.
Richarlison coming back is massive, but something even bigger than this is for Ancellotti to sort out this conundrum, because it's killing our shape at the minute, and teams cannot afford to lose their shape to often, and still expect to win.
12 Posted 08/11/2020 at 11:13:58
13 Posted 08/11/2020 at 11:27:56
14 Posted 08/11/2020 at 11:31:16
It's not that hard to organise a defence quickly as Sam Allardyce proved within three games of walking through the door, the team was seeping goals under Koeman and then arguably went worse under Unsworth, Allardyce sorted it straight away.
Ancelotti needs to begin by keeping a settled back line, chopping and changing every week will only lead to more trouble.
I hope he gets time Carlo, I hope we keep him until the end of the season at least and see what direction the club is going.
It's been shown by the likes of Southampton that keeping hold of a manager can pay off rewards.
What he needs to do though is start seeing the obvious with certain players and realising that they are not the required quality that we need, the constant inclusion of Sigurdsson now despite him offering nothing anymore is baffling.
We still lack pace in wide areas and we struggle to play any football that doesn't involve just crossing the ball to DCL's head.
I think the next month is crucial to Ancelotti and Everton, I just hope it doesn't go tits up and the pressure starts mounting again on yet another Everton manager.
15 Posted 08/11/2020 at 11:57:11
We also need to keep Richarlison fit, disciplined and on the pitch: currently no Richarlison equals no points.
In some games we need someone instead of James - a third midfielder who can link defence with attack with a bit of pace. Not Sigurdsson and sadly not Gomes as they are both too slow.
A lot of goals have come from down our right hand side because the right back is exposed too often. We will need a new right back too sooner rather than later. Seamus started the season well but he was exposed by two things yesterday: his lack of protection and his inability to stop a cross.
We need to sort out central defence. We've got 4 central defenders and we need to see which pairing works the best. Long term it might well be Holgate and Godfrey but we need to shore up that area as we are shipping far too many goals.
We need a new keeper. I don't think Pickford is as bad as some make out. He was fouled by Maguire yesterday but commentators just wanted to make out it was a pen as per of their agenda to highlight all his mistakes. But, he also isn't a great keeper like Southall and we need someone who inspires confidence.
Finally, we need a second striker to provide support for Dom when we are chasing games. Tosun is not and never will be that person.
Apart from the above, we are fine!
All of the above is going to take time, money and patience.
16 Posted 08/11/2020 at 13:49:31
17 Posted 08/11/2020 at 14:22:07
In my opinion, RIcharlison, Digne and DCL are the only players that would get a game at a top six club. We're better than we were last season but we're top 8 at very best.
The key thing now is to dig in and halt the slide, otherwise we'll soon be in the bottom half of the table. Sadly, Richarlison will be off at the end of the season if we don't buck our ideas up, and I'd be astonished if DCL doesn't follow him.
We should beat Fulham easily, and kick on from there. If we don't, it's going to be a long miserable season.
18 Posted 08/11/2020 at 16:20:51
When I see his name on the team sheet I think exactly the same. It could be that he is being played because of the money outlay or being set up for a MLS move. Though I doubt that MLS teams are mugs. I keep thinking he is able to bullshit his way in at Finch Farm, but find it hard to believe Italians are mugs either. There is one thing for sure when selected he dictates the tempo and play level that contributes to Everton's worse performances.
19 Posted 08/11/2020 at 19:38:41
The slowness of the midfield is also the reason why we don't see any of them willing or able to get alongside the forward(s) when attacking since they will be particularly conscious of the uncovered gaps they'll have left behind them when the attack breaks down.
The football being played by the top two not only makes them look like they are from a different league but also from another planet.
20 Posted 09/11/2020 at 00:11:55
Part of the reason for poor pass completion, is that there is not enough movement and players are not available for a pass. In some cases they don't make themselves available. I was always taught , in my younger days to move towards the ball when receiving it and to make sure that I was in front of my marker. ( This makes a lot of sense when you think about it) 8I often seen players in Evertons midfielder standing back to receive the ball. In the case of certain players they will pass back and sideways immediately on receiving the ball, which is useless, especially in the opposition half, doing the opposition defensive work for them and slowing them to get organised. Southampton, Newcastle and Man United did it all the time.
I can't believe that these players don't know what they are doing or that Ancelotti has not twigged into this.
21 Posted 18/11/2020 at 01:17:39
I think Paul Weller was a closet Evertonian.
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