The benefit of Ancelotti getting to know the squad he had inherited is a valid point to make for the first half-season he had in charge after taking over from the sacked Marco Silva. Come the Summer, and in came Nkonkou (for the future), Rodriguez, Allan, Doucouré and, just before the end of the transfer window, Ben Godfrey.
The Blues started this season with four straight league wins, but it soon became apparent the way the team were playing was unsustainable: too many goals being conceded. As the season progressed, we moved to a more defensive mindset, while keeping up a challenge for Europe, and – in some Blues' minds – top 4!!! But have we really progressed in the 14½ months since Carlo joined the club?
In reality, some of the football we have been playing has been a bit on the turgid side. I will take boring 1-0 wins at Sheffield United and West Brom any day. But can we keep such performances up? Not against the better teams as the recent games against Man Utd (we were incredibly lucky to get a draw), Man City and Chelsea show, 8 goals conceded.
When you look at the statistics, Everton are one of the most clinical teams in scoring goals from the chances they make, but are nowhere near the top for chances made in a game. This is a high-risk strategy as, if you don’t score, or your clinical finishing from the few chances you make is off-kilter, then in all probability, you will lose the game.
You don’t need to go into the statistics to see this; just look at the Premier League table. At the time of writing, we have a goal difference of +3. Of the top 10 teams in the Premier League, only one other team has a goal difference which is not above 10 and that’s Arsenal with 8. If we don’t make more chances and score more goals in games, then our current tactics will soon catch up with us.
But Carlo has any number of supporters, both in the Everton fanbase and the media, so let’s look at some of cases they make for the defence... Role the arguments.
1. We are (at the time of writing) in 6th place and on course for Europe.
Yes, (at the time of writing) we are 6th in the Premier League but, in such a topsy turvy season, is this a true reflection of where we are as a team? Arsenal in 10th position are only 5 points behind us and will, in my opinion, finish the season above us, as will the shower from across the park. In such a strange season due to Covid-19 and the lack of supporters, we are in reality performing no better than the other mediocre higher mid-table teams.
2. Look at how our away record has improved.
We have secured 9 away wins at the time of writing, including wins at Tottenham and Liverpool. Compared to our usual woeful away record, this really is “Magnifico”. But, when you take in the lack of supporters, all of a sudden, it does not look as good, as our disgraceful home record this season makes apparent. Without our fervent home support, we can’t perform at Goodison, while away from home, with no home supporters to put us under pressure, and (as is often the case} make us buckle, we are doing better than we have for years.
If supporters were in the grounds, you could flip these home and away records on their heads. There is no mentality shift here; we've got to wait till next season, when hopefully we will all be back in the grounds, to judge our away form, and I won’t hold my breath.
3. This is not Carlo’s team
I agree, this is not Carlo’s team yet, but let’s not pretend that he is just working with the crop of shit from previous seasons. Did we not bring in, as noted above, Godfrey, Doucouré and Carlo’s buddies Allan and Rodriguez?
Just maybe before the cry of greatness for Allan and divinity for Rodriguez is made, people should have looked more deeply into their playing careers – especially their injury records. We will never get more than half a season from either, and even less game-changing performances from Rodriguez.
I will be eternally grateful for his pass to Richarlison for the win at Anfield but, for every good game, we also get the "Is he even playing?" performances, such as at Southampton. He may have come for nothing, but don’t think he is playing for nothing. Coming up to 30, has the Rodriguez experiment worked? Not in my eyes.
Allan is a good shield for the defence in midfield, a bit like Gana, only difference being Gana actually stayed fit. The other two, Doucouré and especially Godfrey, have been successes, but would either have been priorities for Ancelotti?
I would guess not. Both are Brands signings for me, Godfrey definitely, while Doucouré was on our radar ever since Brands and Silva came to the Club. Yes, it will be after the Summer transfer window when we will see Carlo’s team but, in my opinion, more players like James Rodriguez are not the answer.
4. We have a world-class manager.
The great stick to beat the few Carlo critics with. As I have said on a number of occasions, Carlo was a world-class manager. But the game moves on, other managers come to the fore, while others whose time has been and gone, go into decline. This is where Carlo is in his managerial career.
He failed at Bayern and Napoli, his last two jobs, before he answered Moshiri’s call. If he is a world-class manager, as many claim, I would think after 14½ months we would be seeing better performances than the ones we are watching.
So finally, question time:
● Is Carlo doing a good job? – Not even as good a job as Moyes, it would seem.
● Are we getting good performances on the pitch? – Very questionable.
● Can the tactics we are employing see us through to a European place? – Not in my eyes.
● Have we progressed in the 14½ months since Carlo came to the club? – Slightly at best.
● With such a world-class manager, should we have seen more progression by now? – We certainly should.
I have been a critic of the Ancelotti appointment from the start and see no progression since his appointment.
So, my final question is: Should Carlo be getting more criticism?
For me, definitely, but most Blues seem too enamoured with his past achievements and his genuine likeability to see the absolutely average job he is actually doing.
Reader Comments (84)
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1 Posted 16/03/2021 at 01:48:05
Having been an Everton fan for more years than I care to remember, I do feel now more optimistic than I have felt in many a long year. I honestly feel we now have a manager who knows how to win things; we might not be so pretty to watch at the moment but we have certainly been effective in key matches and situations.
Obviously our home form and our inability to take the game to certain teams at home has been our weakness this season but I am willing to give Carlo some time to sort this out as we are still pretty early in his tenure. We still lack mental strength in the team overall, I think, and that will take time to address.
We also lack mobility and energy in the middle of the park once you take DoucourÃ© out of the team; this I am expecting him to address in the close season.
I still think we are in with a shout for a Europa League spot this season despite some of the shortcomings of the team. I am not saying we will definitely achieve this but I do think we can be in the mix until the season end as we have as good a chance as some of the teams in that upper-middle tier.
As for criticism of Carlo, yes, I do think his avuncular style has endeared him to the supporters and there is also that desperate desire for him to succeed... so I think he will get a longer honeymoon period than most. However, next season, assuming some normality returns, I think he will need to show some progression and I don't believe he will be immune to criticism and pressure if we don't show that expected improvement.
2 Posted 16/03/2021 at 02:38:05
On the signings front, under Silva, both he and Brands said that signings were agreed by both. If that remains the case, then presumably Carlo consented to Godfrey and Brands to Rodriguez. If that's not the case, then maybe Brands is entirely responsible, as most Directors of Football are, in which case, you can't blame Carlo.
The last option is, as you imply, that we have different individuals with different agendas separately signing who they want â€“ as seemed to be the case under Walsh. If that is still the dysfunctional status quo, then it falls on Moshiri or Kenwright. But, no matter how you slice and dice it, you can't selectively blame Carlo for what you view as bad signings.
As for the outcome, you're saying he's done worse than Moyes (at West Ham Utd presumably, based on current placing) but also presume he will do worse than Arteta at Arsenal, based on your mystic Meg future predictions. So you're mixing fact and future fantasies to explain how he's failing.
On that basis, I could say, based on current form, he's better than Jose, Arteta and, based on my future fantasy, he will be better than Pep. But to do so would be meaningless unless I had an axe to grind and was looking for any way in which to express that.
3 Posted 16/03/2021 at 03:45:56
First, just a quick jaunt back into your erroneous historical references... no, Ancelotti didn't "fail" at Napoli... he ran afoul of an egomaniac owner who imposed his own "boot camp" strictures on the players without consulting Carlo and turned him loose when Carlo declined to endorse them. And your reference to Allan's alleged injury record is malarkey -- he missed 16 games in four seasons at Napoli, which isn't bad at all. (BTW, Gana has missed 13 games in two seasons at PSG.)
Second, we are "seeing better performances"... or maybe you missed the derby and 5-4 over Spurs and a world-class comeback at Old Trafford that was definitely not luck but pure ferocity. The problem is that we're not seeing these good performances consistently enough â€“ yet â€“ but we are sure as hell seeing some tantalizing glimpses of what our future will be... if this manager stays.
You want to believe we should be playing better after 14Â½ months, you're welcome to it. Personally, having picked us for 8th this season and seeing a starting lineup that still requires massive improvement in 7 of 11 positions, I'm seeing exactly what I expected at this point under Carlo. And if the upcoming summer window goes as I think it will, this time next year, a lot of skeptics will be eating a lot of crow.
4 Posted 16/03/2021 at 04:22:59
I don't know whether this is a wind-up or you spent a spell in Rainhill Mental Hospital but you blindly ignore or distort the facts.
In addition to what Mike G has pointed out, may I remind you that we had the best start to a season in over 50 years. Now granted, that was when Carlo had a full squad, including his signings to choose from... but that â€“ due to serious injuries, the likes of which the Liverpool have been making excuses with all season, we have fallen off the pace a little but still manage to be above Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Carlo's win ratio of over 50% is in line with Howard Kendall Mk 1 and better than every other manager in recent history â€“ despite competing with some of the most expensively assembled squads in the history of the top league.
If you spent your time getting behind the manager and the club instead of sniping when we have a bad result, I am sure you would be much happier. It amazes me how these extreme views come out after each result, whether bad or good.
No-one cares whether you wanted Ancelotti or not â€“ the man who owns the club and is pouring millions of his own money in to make us more competitive has decided that he is the man â€“ and I for one am over the moon we have a manager of his pedigree.
5 Posted 16/03/2021 at 06:13:42
He never criticises referees â€“ even when explicitly asked in a press conference if he thought that Richarlison needs to get more protection from the referees â€“ (one eyebrow raised): "I don't think so".
He gets on with his job, he participates in every training session. He has improved many players in the squad â€“ Holgate (last season), Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Keane, Pickford (tentatively). The players respect him and are eager to get his approval.
He cannot work miracles with the squad that he inherited and also Moshiri's funds are still much smaller than what the big boys are able to spend (Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs).
Give him at least 1 more year and then let us see where we stand. We are 2-3 players away from being a good footballing side and at least 5-6 very good players away from challenging at the top end of the table.
6 Posted 16/03/2021 at 07:36:23
Where are we going? When, if ever, will we get there? ... and how long will it take? The next 2 seasons will tell us.
7 Posted 16/03/2021 at 07:39:32
My only criticism of Carlo is his occasional baffling set-ups (the diamond vs Burnley for example). Add to this his substitutions which are equally confusing.
In fairness though, he is running the ruler over this squad, and he is trying to find out which players are worth keeping. I think any of us would struggle to get the right blend once we have an injury or two.
Like Mike, I was expecting to be about 8th at the end, so anything above that is okay. True, we have ridden our luck at times, but hasn't every team?
The main problem is creativity. We don't score enough goals and Dominic doesn't get enough ammo. But, without James and, if Sigurdsson is unfit or played in an unfamiliar role, then it only leaves the ball over the top from Keane, Pickford, or Digne from the left. Holgate can't cross and Iwobi has one 5 minutes of brilliance every three games...
I have noticed Gomes attempting to put in the killer pass and going for goal more often, but the team is shot-shy. Without DoucourÃ©'s engine, we will most likely slide down to 8th or 9th.
We all know there is a lack of pace in the side and, once we try to throw more bodies forward, we usually get caught out at the back.
Having said all this, it's a game of small margins and, in our recent games, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have both failed to take the chances that we have created. For a team that creates so few chances, that is the difference between success and failure.
All-in-all, we are on course and and perhaps we might string a few wins together, as this team seems to do losses and wins in sequences.
8 Posted 16/03/2021 at 07:40:16
Who cares if we had the best start to the season in decades if the season ends the same way as most of the last 20?
You can make as many excuses for Ancelotti as you like but many of the dropped points at home are on him and his tactics and they have not been good enough.
If we don't qualify for Europe this time, it will be tougher next time when other teams like Liverpool and Arsenal pick themselves up.
9 Posted 16/03/2021 at 07:56:07
I like Carlo and hope he does sort it in the summer transfer window because, if not, the same screaming harpies will be all over him like a rash. The points you raise are valid â€“ no matter how much the baying mob are upset.
10 Posted 15/03/2021 at 08:01:49
Prior to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, the appointments for the past 20 years have been up-and-coming managers, to suit the aspirations of a club hierarchy who had not got the abilities to match the actual requirements to progress Everton. Even the fans' aspirations were way ahead of reality, believing that each new manager was going to ensure a Top Four finish.
Ancelotti was appointed as an experienced manager and that was what we required at Everton. But the club hierarchy is similar with the additional anomalies of a Director of Football being a member of the Board and the major shareholder being at arm's length, content to allow the previous unsuccessful club hierarchy to run the club.
Ancelotti has implemented three strategies in turning the club around: Implemented strategic personnel changes at Finch Farm, with an emphasis on recovery; made Everton's existing players more tactically adaptable and transferring in players to help with this; and individually trying to improve the technical and tactical ability of players in the positions they are selected to play in.
Tactically, Everton have improved, but technically in regard to individual players, the progress has been limited. This has been particularly exposed at Goodison Park. It is obvious that Everton need quality additions to the squad, but this has been restricted by previous over-valued players on long over-paid contracts â€“ and the fact that Everton are not seen as a good career move for a capable Top Four player. At least Everton are not the stepping stone they once were. The Youth Development policy, though changed by Brands, is not producing as it should.
Ancelotti has been successful in developing the tactical adaptability and developing players to suit, and has increased squad depth as a result, but he has fallen short on the development of players' technical ability.
With 10 games left, Everton under Ancelotti will achieve a Top Six finish. A Top four finish is unrealistic since Everton do not have enough Top Four players. Ancelotti has addressed the spirit problem, but has realised that the players do not have the technical ability for tactical open play at home and he will change the tactics for the remaining home games.
A lot still unrealistically expect Everton to over-achieve and want an unrealistic quick fix. This is not going to happen. Ancelotti is still on course and Brands is reducing the wage bill, but the club hierarchy is as bad as ever.
If Ancelotti does not progress Everton, be prepared for another 20 years of dross or worse. There is not manager out there with a silver bullet as far as Everton is concerned. It is interesting that the 'open-play' Chelsea turned into the 'set up stall' Chelsea against Leeds at home and were content with the result.
11 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:05:38
Yes, we have a world class manager but we don't have world class players. He's a bit unsure what to do, which I'm baffled by; his four signings are a huge improvement but, as you have stated, James in particular will hardy wear the blue shirt. That's the challenge: we can only get top drawer talent if they are crocked.
The only slight positive for me is we have one of the most talented players who have ever played in the Premier League, it's just that he never plays.
At the end of the day, it's a typical Everton season that more or less has been the last 30+ years.
13 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:15:51
Fulham and Burnley are the prime examples â€“ just when we were trying to break into the top four. Also, our injury list, team selection, formations and player performances have played some part in our current league position.
All we can do is finish the season on a high and say that it's better under Ancelotti than it has been under previous managers.
It's not doom and gloom, but it's what it could've been in terms of where we are now and where we might finish in the league. A win against Man City in the FA cup would be a major boost.
14 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:23:42
I think one thing Ancelotti has brought in is a change of mindset and expectation which we have not had for years... in fact, I would say since the 1984-85 season.
Our home form is a disgrace and I am afraid it will cost us a European place which, when it comes to the Europa League, might not be a bad thing.
Regarding criticism of Ancelotti: if deserved, then fair enough. However, there is a difference between fair criticism and the continual hateful bile that one or two come out with day after day, regardless of result or performance.
15 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:24:41
18 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:45:26
19 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:47:17
Rightly noted on another thread that we've had 3 managers in two of the past few seasons. On both occasions, things had gotten so bad we needed emergency action to avoid a strong chance of relegation.
Last season, we finished 12th. If we finish in the top half this season with just one manager for the duration, then that's an improvement on last season.
As I see it, this season is all about getting us roughly to where we should be, based on investment in the playing squad, ie, 7th. If we exceed that, then great.
But after the turmoil of the last few years, and the dysfunctional squad it left behind, it's no bad thing to have some steady evolution.
This summer, we'll recruit â€“ and this will buy us the capability to improve the league placing and goal difference.
20 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:06:56
"As I see it, this season is all about getting us roughly to where we should be, based on investment in the playing squad."
Does that take into account inflation / devaluation?
How would somebody like James on a free affect that calculation and would that figure increase to reflect the increase in value of somebody like Calvert-Lewin?
Or do you consider it makes no difference as it could affect all clubs similarly unless they only shop in lower divisions and play their youngsters.
21 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:08:19
The expansive Everton style of play will be on hold way into next season and will be in short supply after that.
22 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:27:02
Although you can debate the values of individual players, you can see that the rich 6 have invested more â€“ many hundreds of millions more â€“ and that Leicester City (8th highest squad value) have invested wisely for a sustained spell and therefore punch above their weight.
In very crude terms, it means we've got about the 8th best squad in the Premier League.
And probably not by quirk of fate therefore, 8th has been a glass ceiling for us since that first Martinez season.
23 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:30:06
My own view is that I have been disappointed by the home performances and some of our manager's tactics. But I do think he needs time over the summer to sort out personnel issues and to imprint his style and approach to games. Next season will be the real test for Ancelotti â€“ we will all want improvements.
On the comment about Moyes! Let's not get too over-excited about West Ham. Just like with us, every time he plays a 'top 4' team or an important game... he loses â€“ because of his tactics and team selection. Sure, he may give West Ham some stability, but that's about it.
24 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:33:11
Who has decided that Everton's squad is worth $500m+ and Leicester's isn't? I mean they have outperformed in most of the past 6 years including a league title and a Champions League quarter final.
25 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:39:12
For validation, look at the net spend, wage bill and well stocked benches of the rich 6.
26 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:48:58
As a footy fan nothing and nobody is immune from opinion or criticism. That's one of the reasons why people love football. One man's meat is anothers poison.
Tom Davies is a prime example of extreme views. One week he is our next captain the next deadwood. Ancelotti is not immune from this.
Maybe the Moyes era has shortened our patience with managers and to a lesser extend the miracle that was achieved at Leicester.
HK mk1 went through some tough times after the honeymoon period ended fans started calling for his head. One back pass later and we where on the march with Howard's army.
After a few fruitless seasons the most successful manager in British football history needed a Mark Robbins goal to save his job.
A man who reshaped how football is played in England. Built a stadium off the back of his success and is still advising FIFA was hounded out at Arsenal.
My point being the 3 managers mentioned above had years of mediocrity before finding a winning formula.
After suffering 11 years of Moyes and the false dawn's afterwards. I am inclined to give Ancelotti as much time and money as possible. It won't stop me being critical of his decisions when he gets it wrong and praising when he gets it right.
Ancelotti is very good at what he does. He isn't a miracle worker. He won't change average players into world beaters but he has already improved average players to be very functional for us.
27 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:50:04
28 Posted 16/03/2021 at 09:54:10
The government have asked for more time before making their decision on BMD. The club and Liverpool city council are not surprised at this considering the size of the project, and are not unduly concerned, but FFS isn't three weeks long enough? There is no indication of when the final decision will be made.
29 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:05:48
The signings of Allan and James when they came were put down to Carlo, they wouldn't have come here, was the majority of fans opinion, he was applauded for it, there didn't seem to be any doubt they were Carlo's signings, so with the injury to Allan, that has limited his playing time and he doesn't look entirely fit since he came back, James is very good for limited periods when he plays, missed quite a lot of games, and goes missing quite a lot during the time he is playing, so I hope Carlo's signings in the summer are much better than those two.
Give him more time, certainly, and as John (14) says praise him when he deserves it and criticise him when he doesn't, I'd also forget his past history no matter how good or bad it has been, concentrate how he performs here but give him a fair go.
30 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:13:21
Where he has failed for me is his constant changing of formation and the diamond midfield which leaves full backs exposed, just kills me. It just leaves us unbalanced going forward and creates gaps in midfield.
I enjoyed Richarlison playing more central as he found the net again. But enough is enough. It doesn't work because we have no natural wingers. I've lost count of how many formations he has tried. 442, 4141, 4411, 433, 4231, 532. Have l missed any? Probably
He should go back to more of a 451,or variation of, so we get that consistant shape again. He got it right against Spurs in the very first game. Lost it due to injury and then struggled to find any rhythm ever since. We have had a couple pockets of games where he finds something that works again.. like the Wolves game where he overloaded wide, and played 2 false 9s and it worked... but that was a one off because of injuries.
The RS game with Holgate and Godrey either side of Keane. We had balance. Coleman was injured the next game but instead of keeping that formation by trying to slot Iwobi there he ripped it up and killed our flow. Because of the diamond he keeps going for it impacts how we move as a team.
I'm sure we will improve again next season with additions. But the time is now and he has to go back to solid lines again and sticks with a formation that works for the players that are available.
He is fucking this season up and l'm sure he knows it. Just seems like he is planning for next season already when we have so much still to play for.
31 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:14:50
32 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:23:17
I love the guy, but everyone is open to criticism.
There is no doubt that the start of the campaign was superb and our away form is still very encouraging. Our home performances are baffling though, especially against such mediocre teams. We appear to have a mental block that needs a coach load of Austrian psychotherapists.
My belief is that Carlo is still relatively new to the club and is having to deal with a lot of players he would't have through choice. He obviously hasn't got a lot of trust in some of the squad players because why else would he constantly be playing the underwhelming Iwobi and Gomes? My heart sinks every time I see them on a team sheet.
A fit first team is fine, thereafter he's in trouble.
This next window might be the making or breaking of him. I just hope he gets the quality and character right in those signings.
And wherever we finish, that win at Anfield lifted my spirits massively during this year of living inertia.
He's a lovely guy, with a superb track record and we've seen some great performances. But, we've also seen a lot of underwhelming dross.
I want patience to be shown and Carlo to stay for as long as possible - because if he fails, who is there out there who can succeed?
33 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:43:39
If I base it on the infuriating tactical set-up on Saturday and the dismal performances of the majority of the team, then I find myself nodding at several of the points.
Looking at the season as a whole, we are seventh with a game in hand and have recorded memorable wins against top teams. Ancelotti will change the tactical formation of the team and the line-up depending on squad strength, the fixture list and the opposition. He has always done so and he has netted 3 champions league trophies and league titles in Italy, France, Spain and England (world class manager). He has made some bad decisions in tactical set-up and rotating players, but he is still in the positive column overall.
The point that the squad is weak is not an excuse - it is fact. Regardless of the number of internationals in the squad, overall it is been crap for the last four years and three managers have been sacked as a result. So, it is progress with missed opportunities that are beginning to drive me mad.
34 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:46:09
35 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:52:51
I'm sick to my back teeth with this childish notion that a messiah will arrive to cure all our ills. That we will win every game without conceding a goal. That we will play samba football like the world hasn't seen since 1970. That none of our players will be injured or lose form etc...
We have an owner, and now a manager, who are trying to undo 30 fucking years of mismanagement. 30 fucking years of accepting mediocrity. 30 fucking years of being in the wilderness and now, all of a sudden, we are demanding this to be resolved in just over a year? Fuck off, this is going to take years mate, and hundreds of millions, to fix!
Everyone wants Everton to succeed but immature hit jobs on a man who has to make a steak dinner out of a pile (inherited) of shite won't make a difference. Investment, stability and a new stadium just might.
36 Posted 16/03/2021 at 10:58:51
James, when fit providing sublime guile accompanied by moderate competence around him works in a certain type of game but in the heat of a battle can be found wanting.
I'm hoping the signing of Allen was Carlo's attempt to rectify this painfully obvious flaw but he's not very good so it's back to square one
37 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:00:52
That's the market we are in. Nobody else wanted Allan, he was probably happy with Napoli but was persuaded by Ancelotti and a final pay day. When fit he is better than what we have.
If a club is getting regular champions League football and are contending for trophies who do you think they would pick? Hoiberg is a prime example.
I expect a few more old arses and young potentials arriving before we can seriously compete with the big boys. Philips, Rice and Grealish would do me but the big boys will be in for them soon enough.
38 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:04:56
Best post I have read for many a day
39 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:05:33
40 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:06:06
41 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:33:41
The lack of activity in bringing in players in January signalled quite openly that CL qualification was not a target and that we'd be happy with the Europa League (even this now seeming unlikely). Not the sign of a club going places. Nor the sign of a manager much concerned about developing young players, supposedly something engrained in the Club's 'plan'.
42 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:38:48
43 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:39:21
Martin "I agree, this is not Carlo's team yet, but let's not pretend that he is just working with the crop of shit from previous seasons".
Well at least you recognise the squad limitations that Carlo inherited (though I wouldn't say they are all shit).
"Did we not bring in, as noted above, Godfrey, DoucourÃ© and Carlo's buddies Allan and Rodriguez?"
Injuries to three of the four have disrupted the team. The fourth has been a superb signing.
44 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:40:42
Unfortunately this article sums up the modern fickle supporter. Everton fans never used to be like that in my opinion, but we are now as bad as any team. For some, only perfection is good enough. There's no room for bumps in the road - a few bad results, a bad couple of signings, loss of form, injuries. Only utopia is allowed!
I have seen many improvements this season:
- Recruitment (they've all made us better)
- Player development (e.g. Pickford, Keane, Godfrey, Davies, DCL)
- Away record
- Squad rotation (real competition for places, even in GK position)
But regardless of this, I am expecting Carlo to possibly have a sticky time at some point, because life is like that. Perfection doesn't exist. And I will still back him even if we are in the bottom half next year, because I remember what he inherited and where we were when he took over. He has sorted out many things. It was a minimum 3 year job to turn us around, not 14 months!
We are probably the 7th/8th best team in the Prem, and will probably finish 7th/8th, despite various serious injuries to our best players. We are heading the right way, all good managers build from the back, that is clearly what Carlo is doing.
45 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:41:40
46 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:47:08
On the four signings, I'm sure I read they haven't all played in the same starting eleven due to injury.
47 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:53:44
48 Posted 16/03/2021 at 11:55:30
After the opening wins of the season during the following barren period and accompanying injuries he did try playing players in different positions. This resulted in greater squad depth, which has helped later on in the season.
Against Burnley he played a open game trying to depend more on the technically ability of the players. They where found wanting, but Ancelotti now knows and has acknowledged the technical limitations of his squad.
Ancelotti is not a Manager bound by any glass ceilings. He will continually push the limits of the Everton Squad performance and each players will be continually challenged on the limits of their performance.
49 Posted 16/03/2021 at 13:28:04
"As we move into the final quarter of the season, Carlo Ancelotti has been in charge for 14Â½ months. So where are we under the leadership of Carlo “Magnificoâ€?I
14.5 months, 14.5 fucking months he's been here, not 14.5 years. So yet again, I'll say it, if people want mediocrity then get rid of Carlo, bring back the dinosaur cum fraudster Allardyce, bring in Chris Wilder, bring in some bloke from Swansea called Steve Cooper. In fact, bring them all in, give us all a fucking good laugh, and the rest of the country. This crew will certainly have us drooling won't they, drooling with fear that relegation is just around the corner.
As Colin says, we have a owner hell bent on success and he finally has the right man to do it. I've seen a few posts elsewhere (not on this thread) moaning about Ancelotti's age. The man is 61 years old FFS. He might be a bit slow on his feet nowadays but his brain is ticking over nicely.
It really does make you laugh. Some wanted instant success last season. FFS Carlo why didn't you win the FA Cup and / or get us into Europe last season? How shit can you get? And before some start on about the FA Cup game against the RS, yes I know it was some of their kids, but not the whole team. This was only Ancelotti's fourth of fifth game in charge, but it was also a game where we should have been at least four or five up by half time. I suppose poor finishing in that game was Carlo's fault? Of course, he said to DCL and Richarlison, the two biggest culprits if I remember rightly, "Now then lads, go out there but whatever you do, don't score"
I could go on all day knocking threads like this, but do you know what? I CAN'T BE FUCKING ARSED!
50 Posted 16/03/2021 at 15:24:47
51 Posted 16/03/2021 at 15:54:41
I'd rather pass on judging Carlo just now as we are not even at the end of his first full season, let alone long enough into his tenure. If we'd have judged Moyes after 14 + months, we'd have been discussing finishing 17th, missing the drop by 6 points and 3 behind Manchester City who had humiliated us 5 - 1 on the last day of the season.
Realistically, I'll make an initial assessment at the end of the season as I've said all along. Ideally, I would rather be here in 3 years time looking back at how we have improved. As a club we have not been thinking strategically hence result-by-result reactions. That doesn't mean not commenting, praising or criticising individual results, performances and tactics. Most on here do all of that based on how we see it.
Recent performances have not be great to watch; the hallmarks of a thin squad in which realistically, we are relying on a core of 16 players. I like your reference to goal difference. That is always a really good gauge as to where you are if you look beyond results and performances alone.
In response to your valid questions (excuse me for not being verbatim):
1. On course for Europe? Yes we are. Very much so on 2 fronts. And there is the distinct possibility 7th could be sufficient. In this topsy turvy season, who is to say those teams mentioned won't slip up as much as we have done and will no doubt do again? Because they also have to date.
2. Away form v Home form? I personally don't like to use the crowd argument as that is a level playing field. We all suffer from the same. But it is very interesting the number of teams who's away form is better (United) and those who's previous fortresses are no longer so (look no further than across the Park?).
3. Not Carlo's team? No it is not. Aside from the 4 new players who have featured regular, it is the same squad. Those 4 did however improve the squad. Not just because they are an improvement on what we had, but they improved players around them. Mina, Keane, Davies, Sigurdsson, all playing better. Davies for one has personally called out having Allan to train and play with as a big factor in his improved form. But this was always going to be incremental over time to undo 30 years of mismanagement and under-investment. Next turn of the wheel we add another 4 - 5 who improve the squad further only now we are improving on better than what we had 14 months ago.
4. World Class? He is. Past his peak? Possibly. I point to the Man City approach. A gradual progression and improvement in manager to get to Pep. Mark Hughes to Mancini to Pellegrini to Guardiola. Stepping stones over years. Unfortunately it will take years to undo 30 years of neglect and it might just be that Ancelotti is our first real stepping stone to doing that at managerial level.
I'll finish as I started, well written piece that puts your point of view across in a constructive way in my opinion. That is what this site should be about. Sharing and debating conflicting views.
52 Posted 16/03/2021 at 15:59:00
The order of the words may get shuffled around and dressed up as being â€˜balanced and reasonable', but the overall tone remains: â€˜I never wanted Carlo Ancelotti and I still don't want him'
First, to respond to the four points he challenges:
1. We are (at the time of writing) in 6th place and on course for Europe.
We have occupied every position from 1st to 9th this season, nothing lower. We occupied 8th and 9th place for one week only apiece. Overwhelmingly after each round of fixtures, we have remained in the top six, often with 1 or 2 games in hand over the teams around us. And â€“ yes! â€“ we keep blowing those games in hand. Our actual â€˜medium' position over the course of the entire season to date is FIFTH!
Only City (22 wins), United (16 wins) and Leicester (17 wins) have more total victories in this season than Everton's 14 (equal with Chelsea and WHU), but Martin considers â€˜in reality we are performing no better than the other mediocre higher mid-table teams' and confidently predicts the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, WHU ('Carlo is not even doing as good a job as Moyes') and Arsenal will finish above us. And well they might. As might we, based on the season to date, finish above them (and others).
Funny how Martin's crystal ball only sees rolling storm clouds for Carlo's Everton and a bright sunshiny day for all our rivals.
2. Look at how our away record has improved.
Martin's claim that we have won (for Everton) a PL record-equalling 9 away wins this season is due to the absence of fans may well be a legitimate one. You may well see a â€˜flip' in home and away records if and when fans return to the stadiums. But then, that would be true for ALL teams. Martin presents it as a malaise particular to Everton only. By a slight of hand, Martin turns a clear positive improvement into a lucky â€˜it won't last' phenomenon.
3. This is not Carlo's team
This IS Carlo's team. He said it very recently himself. He is NOT getting a free pass from plenty of people who expects him to work with what he has got. I'll expand on this later in reference to another article by Martin about the squad.
4. We have a world-class manager.
By any criterion you care to judge a manager, Carlo Ancelotti IS world class. He did not fail at Bayern. He won the Bundesliga. He did not fail at Napoli. He was dismissed having won his last game in charge 4-0 which guaranteed Napoli qualified for the last 16 of the CL. He had beaten and drawn with the reigning CL champions (them!) in a tough group. Mike Gaynes accurately lays out the politics at Napoli that saw him dismissed.
As I already mentioned, this is standard fare for Martin who does like to trip out a mocking â€˜Carlo Fantastico' article, usually following a defeat as is the case here.
He highlights perceived failings and problems, often ignoring some of his own sage words from his earlier articles. This is what Martin has previously said about the squad Carlo inherited:
Back in January 2020 following the shameful cup loss at Analfield, in a couple of different articles, â€˜The Skeleton Crew' and â€˜Flowers Die' Martin repeated the same belief about trading in the January transfer window:
â€˜It will be the summer where we will have to recruit heavily again with, basically, half a new squad [my emphasis]. Next summer will be our last big chance in the transfer market. Brands and Ancelotti will need to get it right or we will be in one hell of a mess.'
This was followed up by: â€˜We need to move players out to be able to bring players inâ€¦ let Ancelotti get through the rest of the season with the players we have and let him plan with Marcel Brands for the Summer transfer window, bringing anyone in before then would be pointless.'
In June 2020 before the re-start of the suspended season in his â€˜Time to Experiment' Martin proposed Carlo gave 7 players â€“ Moise Kean, Anthony Gordon, Alex Iwobi, Dennis Adeniran, Beni Baningime, Nathangelo Markelo and Lewis Gibson a run in the team. Most of them belong in the â€˜where are they now?' file.
Martin's â€˜End of Year Report' in July-2020 marked everybody's card out of 10.
Martin's stripped down evaluation reads:
Pickford 2 - upgrade
Coleman 3 â€“ back-up at best, move on
Sidibe 2 â€“ awful
Digne 3 â€“ incredibly overrated
Baines 4 â€“ times up
Keane 5 â€“ not good enough going forward
Mina 5 â€“ injury plagued, in and out performances
Holgate 7.5 â€“ player of the season the whole defence should be built around him
Branthwaite 6 â€“ a real find
Gbamin 3 â€“ injury-prone, hard to judge [my note: amazing how a player who didn't clock up 90 minutes for us in his two appearances scores higher than TEN other players in Martin's ratings]
Schneiderlin 4 â€“ money down the drain
Davies 2.5 â€“ hard to categorize, never got beyond average
Gomes 2 â€“ nothing to talk about
Sigurdsson 1 â€“ burnt money
Delph MINUS 10 (and that's being kind) â€“ please, just be gone
Iwobi 1 â€“ panic buy, shown absolutely nothing
Walcott 1 â€“ did absolutely nothing. Move on
Bernard 1 â€“ flatters to deceive, did nothing all season
Gordon 5 â€“ showed potential, hopefully next season will be a big breakout year
Tosun 2 â€“ not good enough, has no future at the club
Kean 4 â€“ not a great first season, one we can look forward to improving next season
DCL 6 â€“ improved, dreadful post-lockdown, nagging feeling he is not quite good enough. If we bring in Odsonne Edouard, Dom would be out the door asap
Richarlison 6.5 â€“ talisman, workaholic, along with Holgate our most important player
Marco Silva 1 â€“ nightmare
Duncan Ferguson 6.5 â€“ gave us a shot in the arm when needed, but it would never have lasted
Carlo Ancelotti 3 â€“ [Martin's full critique to reinforce where his latest article â€“ ALL his articles! - comes from]:
â€˜I hold my hands up: I don't think he is the right manager for us and have written a couple of articles why this is. At present (although I hope I'm wrong), nothing he has done has persuaded me any different. He has been bang average to date and his record against the so-called big six since he came to the club has been appalling. 'I have seen many disgraceful showings against Liverpool but the absolute disgrace of losing in the FA Cup to a few second-stringers and a bunch of crÃ¨che kids goes down as the lowest of the low. 'But he needs to be given time... although I only see it ending in tears. Anyone who thinks he has been anything but average so far, in my humble opinion, are in cloud cuckoo land.'
'I have seen many disgraceful showings against Liverpool but the absolute disgrace of losing in the FA Cup to a few second-stringers and a bunch of crÃ¨che kids goes down as the lowest of the low.
'But he needs to be given time... although I only see it ending in tears. Anyone who thinks he has been anything but average so far, in my humble opinion, are in cloud cuckoo land.'
Marcel Brands 3 â€“ not convinced
The Board 2 â€“ light years behind our competitors
Farhad Moshiri 2 â€“ day-dreaming billionaire, wasting money and not taking the club in the right direct
Given Martin's player, manager and other evaluations of the club, and given that the bulk of those players are still at Everton, Carlo is not just being Fantastico. He's working freaking miracles.
53 Posted 16/03/2021 at 16:36:33
Rob #49, I wish you would stop tiptoeing around the issues and simply express your fucking opinion in plain fucking language.
Rob #26: "After a few fruitless seasons the most successful manager in British football history needed a Mark Robbins goal to save his job."
Forgive my imperfect grasp of British football history, but to whom do you refer, and when did that happen? Is that the Mark Robins who played for Norwich 20 years ago during their meteor moment?
54 Posted 16/03/2021 at 16:50:46
An excellent thought provoking piece..Such a refreshing change to see somebody actually questioning if the king is in the altogether.
However, as somebody said above. The partisan echo chamber is no place to raise mild critique.
We finished 5th the season before Moshiri got here. The football we have witnessed since that time has been unrelentingly grim. We have actually found a new level of grim in the past fifteen months
People talk about progress, but Our football gets uglier by the season and our chances of getting to the dizzy heights of the fifth were we finished under Roberto get slimmer by the week.
Still. I'm deffo reassured to be informed that Carlo is working "freaking miracles" That really is a load off
55 Posted 16/03/2021 at 17:08:47
56 Posted 16/03/2021 at 17:20:44
"On this day 25 years ago, Mark Robins scored one of BBC Sport's iconic FA Cup goals at Nottingham Forest to save Alex Ferguson's job as manager at Manchester United. In January 1990, a large part of United's supporters wanted Ferguson (the knighthood was another nine years away) out of the club. United had lost at home to Crystal Palace the previous month, prompting a banner in the Stretford End that accused Ferguson of presiding over "three years of excuses" at Old Trafford. Defeat away to an in-form Forest in the FA Cup seemed a distinct possibility - and the rumour was such a result would be Ferguson's last in charge".
In January 1990, a large part of United's supporters wanted Ferguson (the knighthood was another nine years away) out of the club.
United had lost at home to Crystal Palace the previous month, prompting a banner in the Stretford End that accused Ferguson of presiding over "three years of excuses" at Old Trafford.
Defeat away to an in-form Forest in the FA Cup seemed a distinct possibility - and the rumour was such a result would be Ferguson's last in charge".
As mentioned. We have form here. "Kendall must go".
57 Posted 16/03/2021 at 18:30:39
My only recollection of Mark Robins, and it's pretty fuzzy, is of him leading little Norwich to a victory at Bayern Munich. And I only remember that because my semipro team had a striker named Gunter who had spent some time in Bayern's youth system, and he invited about 6 of us to his house to watch the game. He was pointing to various guys on the screen and saying he had played with this one and that one, but as the game went on he got quieter and quieter. A couple of the guys teased him so much he quit our team not long after. Mark Robins and his mates probably cost us a playoff spot that season. But I gotta say it was probably worth it just to shut up Gunther.
58 Posted 16/03/2021 at 18:45:49
Why didnt someone just say ?..It all becomes clear now
59 Posted 16/03/2021 at 18:53:55
Mentioning Bayern, you have reminded me of my German allegiances to FC Schalke and the total dire straights they are in right now.
60 Posted 16/03/2021 at 18:59:00
Ive scoured through the thread.
Cant see anyone suggesting the link to man u manager and your point at 58 ?
61 Posted 16/03/2021 at 19:02:13
Or give them sufficient time to actually judge them on their own merits? Genuine question.
They were more than rumours. Ferguson's head was potentially on the block and all of us who were around then were aware of that.
62 Posted 16/03/2021 at 19:04:35
And about the comments section:
What is this whining about a partisan echo chamber? Where do you get this stuff, Infowars? Just make your case and skip the perjoratives mate. We are certainly in a good enough position to play a let's wait and see card. So let's wait and see.
Signed - Dirty F'ing Happy
63 Posted 16/03/2021 at 19:19:02
The link refers back to Rob's (@26) initial comment that Howard Kendall was almost hounded out by the baying pack before he went on to become Everton's most successful manager of all time. Alex Ferguson was under serious pressure and threat prior to building a dynasty.
And we are judging someone trying to untangle 30 years of neglect after 14 months and not yet having completed a full season in charge?
I get it's all about opinions and I will reiterate, I actually like this article. Agree with it or not, well written and presented.
64 Posted 16/03/2021 at 19:24:50
I still cant see the connection between Mikes and your posts with "us playing zombie football"
65 Posted 16/03/2021 at 20:08:51
The club has festered for decades and it's been appalling bad, predictable and arguably not good value for money watching the game, but priceless for the banter and wit in the ale houses and on here and the other fanzines some of which are no longer going.
But success and sustainable success needs a foundation and a proper football development plane and business plan.
Successful clubs and those consistently successful, have established themselves due to success on the park, and grown and nurtured their success.
Year on year from last year, Everton are improving and on the stats this season are close on the top 5.
The club is in transition and the frustrations of all with style and manner, is understandable but by the start of next season, I have faith the squad will be improved and the football style and game plan will be more offensive.
So justifiably how long does it take to make a successful team, if success, in silverware and European measurement is the bench mark?
I don't know and where this seasons journey takes Everton, and it remains to be seen.
But respecting every ones view and 1000s of years of match time and Everton experience, and participating daily on TW, it's clear and healthy that we all have a different views, On most matters Everton.
But how many managers in the modern era have taken mediocrity to instant success with out major rebuilding?
I'm disappointed as hell with the Burnley result, and the others, v Leeds, West Ham, Fulham, but for me the club is on the right path, albeit a very bumpy road, but going in the right direction.
Calling out the shortfalls in performance is acceotabke but let's judge and mark the initial assessment after Carlos first full season, check the end of season position and the statisticians, can do their magic and analyse every game.
It took Mr Ed, over 3 seasons to get his team going.
It's frustrating but in donkies years, there's hope on the horizon for Everton. Well said Colin, Rob, Mike, Danny, et Al, and as Evertonians let's beware the Ides of March!
66 Posted 16/03/2021 at 20:25:20
67 Posted 16/03/2021 at 20:30:36
We all recognise that several positions need to be strengthened - arguably goalkeeper, certainly a right back and another forward but I think most would agree that the weakest link is still the midfield. Sigurdsson, Gomes, Davies, Delph, Bernard and James are all decent players but painfully slow. Any top side can only tolerate one such luxury in today's game and we all know who that would be, if he could only stay fit. Iwobi IS quick but totally lacking playing intelligence. Sigurdsson with Iwobi's pace or Iwobi with Siggy's guile would be quite some player but alas, without some cloning, that ain't going to happen.
So unless Brands / Ancelotti find some decent, forward thinking, speedy, dynamic, replacements with scoring potential over the summer (a la Tielemans, Harvey Barnes, Maddison, Ward Prowse etc), we're going to continue to struggle in the transition between defence and attack - hence the laborious, turgid stuff we've seen this season.
Does Ancelotti see this? Yes, I'm sure he does. Did Ancelotti buy this imbalanced pack of decent but, relatively immobile, players? No - but he did inherit them.
So, I don't feel able to come down one way or another on Ancelotti just yet - not until he has had a few windows to replace this disparate bunch. City didn't get to where they are now in 12 months - it took them several iterations - and they had unlimited resources. I'm afraid, once again, patience is called for.
68 Posted 16/03/2021 at 20:50:29
The problem with referencing Klopp at Anfield is we haven't reached a starting position comparable to the one he walked into.
Their gargantuan spending over the prem period placed the dentist dream a mere stones throw from the summit of Mount Everest. On the other hand being new to this spending lark we are still unpacking at base camp and asking sherpas if piss freezes at this altitude
69 Posted 16/03/2021 at 21:27:36
70 Posted 16/03/2021 at 21:37:01
When CA arrived at Goodison, be inherited a team desperately trying to get fucking relegated, with a team of misfit overpaid shite as many described the squad. Given the above I belive he has a further 2 1/2 years before we draw parallels, also CA has spent circa 60 mill. In the one transfer window we have been active in recruitment. Irrespective of whats been sponked away by other managers he still has 140 mill more to spend to fairly evaluate Klopp v Ancelotti, also given what we have squad wise I would say he has overachieived however some of his team selections have baffled us all. But for every WTF moment I have over CA he has credit from my perspective merely getting the result at Mordor...
71 Posted 16/03/2021 at 22:01:50
72 Posted 17/03/2021 at 10:51:35
73 Posted 17/03/2021 at 10:59:09
He would be a good long-term addition. Has the potential with Carlo's coaching to be our Bale/Kaka-type of explosive player. If you play a diamond, he is perfect for that role. The opposition defensive midfielders won't ever venture forward when he's on a run of form in the Premier League next season.
Anyway, this season is still in our hands, and this summer will be very interesting.
74 Posted 17/03/2021 at 11:59:37
75 Posted 17/03/2021 at 12:48:34
Dowell looks good at times, at bit languid like Le Tissier - just not yet worked out that extra bit of ability to trick his man to create the extra half second to execute the technique he wants before the ball leaves his foot. Oddly enough, there's only Le Tissier, Maradona, James Rodriguez, Tony Yeboah, Bergkamp and Ronaldinho on the top of my mind who can flick a ball up facing a player closing in and not worry before shooting. Obviously no-one expects Dowell to reach this level, but he needs to find a way to create that extra half a second around the box under all pressures.
Aarons looks good going forwards, stamina is very good and doesn't stay static, in-and-out of the lines, and so not markable. You can see the opposing full back and midfielder having to turn their heads to find him. Defensively is average. But will be good if the right type of players are in the team - meaning if we have a lot of clinical players that can score two in 10 minutes and just like that the game is over like Arsenal invincibles used to do, then the opposition won't push forward all the time and expose themselves, meaning he can push up and stretch the midfield to the touchlines. He reminds me of Paul Parker, Dennis Irwin and Baines, very steady smaller full-backs and he can handle his smaller size well, and can do all the things Coleman does too. He'll have to swap with Holgate when we go to defensive games and lots of crosses at the far posts.
Note of caution though: I'm just watching YouTube highlights, so not the greatest way to judge a player too.
76 Posted 17/03/2021 at 13:14:24
Richarlison on the left, more legs in the middle, a right winger with genuine quality and a replace right back.
77 Posted 17/03/2021 at 13:33:22
78 Posted 17/03/2021 at 13:44:38
But yes, Buendia would be another who can just produce a moment of magic in two seconds and destroy a defensive set-up, no doubt about it.
Oddly enough, I'll go for Cantwell above Buendia marginally if it was for top of a diamond, as the Premier Leauge is better at sniffing out dribblers unless you are world class like Mahrez. Cantwell doesn't rely on beating a man, but can arrive like Lampard very quickly in the right spot and finish. To explain further, Richarlison would dribble past 3 or 4 a week in the league below and scored Messi type goals.. it's just the way it is in terms of type of defensive players in the Premier League to the Championship. So, Cantwell for me. At the top level having someone who can ghost in like Gary Speed or Graham Stuart or Paul Scholes is priceless. Only my personal opinion.
79 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:07:04
Such appointments are a gamble and overwhelmingly a gamble that is adjudged well before due time has arrived. But the gamble on Carlo is more considered. Over and over he has brought -or continued to bring - success to the great many clubs he has served.
The Italian has a great record at clubs in the higher echelons although anything but successful at those you would describe as ordinary - and there is nothing odd about that. Just think of the many managers who have done great things with 'Super Star' clubs and national sides. But just what did the likes of Ramsay, Robson and Venables achieve in late career ? Nothing apart from feathering their nests, I believe.
Somehow I think it's just the same with Uncle Carlo although it's more of a family project with him as he grooms young Davide to replace him.
Of course, we want the old man to be successful - so many have failed. But please, please let's judge him as we've judged all the others before him. On what, and how soon, he gets us back to the days of Catterick and Kendall not what he did in Milan 20 years ago !
80 Posted 18/03/2021 at 08:33:18
"Buendia missed out after his partner gave birth but Dowell filled his role excellently." Dowell apparently scored a cracker. Looks like he will be playing in the PL next season, so all credit to him. Did we insert a 'right of first refusal clause' when we sold him to Norwich? Farke is building a good Championship side there, his challenge will be to keep Norwich in the PL for a few seasons.
81 Posted 18/03/2021 at 09:58:55
82 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:02:09
We are a very different prospect with DoucourÃ©, Allan and James in the midfield and Godfrey in the defence.
*im not sure Carlo would have had much say in bringing in King - I think he's a squad addition for back up. Summer will see more Ancelotti signings - let's see how we line up next season and what we do when we have a fit squad.
83 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:30:35
84 Posted 18/03/2021 at 11:13:39
85 Posted 18/03/2021 at 12:35:26
Yes agree with you, and saw the Norwich highlights on YouTube.
Dowell did score a Premier Leaugue type of goal, very fast snappy one-two and a first time shot outside the box, brilliant. Let's hope he does well next season. If he can find ways to buy that fractional bit of extra time and space to shoot when players are faster and better at the defensive dark arts next season, he will be very decent. Always had the tools, just needs a way to get his shot off the way he wants at top level like Rodiguez when Prem players smother you in an instant.
86 Posted 18/03/2021 at 19:02:32
But in 3 years the good ones generally have brought in the ones they want, got rid of those not in their plans and retained those they think can complement the ones they brought in. Back to the much earlier points about Kendall and Ferguson.
On a totally separate note, have I read that Phil Jagielka's brother has sadly passed away aged 43?
87 Posted 20/03/2021 at 19:59:02
Lots of games â€“ not just ours â€“ have shown you need pace; we have none. Pace and bite in the midfield takes pressure off the defence and has the opportunity to release the front.
Easy, this management thing... and only a few short paragraphs!!!!!!
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