Everton have been without a manager for two weeks after sacking Marco Silva once the club had dropped into the relegation zone. But no Everton fan could have predicted that the next man coming in would be Carlo Ancelotti- but is the Italian the right manager for Everton?
In Silva’s absence Duncan Ferguson a bona fide club legend stepped up and was given the care taker job. From the minute Ferguson took his position inevitably Everton have looked like a different team. Suddenly they are good enough to beat Chelsea, to draw away to Manchester United and to take Leicester to penalties in the Carabao Cup.
But enough of the players what about the Scotsman Ferguson who bleeds Everton blue blood- he loves the club and it shows. No one will forget his touchline joy with two ball boys when Everton scored against Chelsea- and went on to win the game 3-1. Against Manchester United in his 2nd game in charge he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, except it wasn’t sunny, it was windy and rainy. But that is Ferguson all over, he wants to involve himself in the game as much as he can without playing on the actual pitch. For any Everton fan it would have been a joy to witness the last few weeks of what has been a miserable season so far for the club.
In post match interviews Ferguson has sounded like a fan given the caretaker job- but underneath it all he is a professional and has so much pride having this chance to manage the club. However he has filled fans hearts they will know himself that the club are going through that honeymoon moment and sure enough the penny will drop and the club will go back to poor form. They need investment and they also need a manager with proven skills. Ferguson is building his up, and it seems only natural he will step aside for whoever comes in. That man seems to be Carlo Ancelotti.
Ancelotti has won over 15 major trophies as manager. He has won Champions Leagues with AC Milan and Real Madrid, countless league titles with Juventus and won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. He has of course coached in the Premier League and won the double for Chelsea. In short he would be massive for the club, and he is one of the best managers the game has witnessed in the last 20 years no doubt about it.
The problem is will Ancelotti and Everton be a good fit? Everywhere Ancelotti has gone he has already had world class players at his disposal and then a generous owner who has given him many millions. True Everton owner Farhad Moshiri does have some deep pockets, and Everton are one of the highest spending clubs in the league- but they have sold many players too to raise funds. It seems unlikely that Ancelotti will be given upwards of £200m in the summer- that is evidently what it will take to move Everton onto the next level.
In one sense Anceotti should be congratulated. He is taking a step down and a risk to go to a club like Everton who have flirted in recent seasons with the bottom half of the table. At the same time one wonders if Ancelotti’s best days are behind him? He was sacked as manager of Napoli after they lost distance in Serie A and his normal win rates of between 65-70% diminished to just 50% under Napoli.
Ancelotti will come into the club and should raise the standard, no doubt about that, but it may not last as long as one would hope. He needs to come in and understand the clubs philosophy, the players he has, the owners, the fans- this takes time and it could well be a difficult six months until the summer where he will have proper transfer funds. So would it not be better to stick with Ferguson until then at least? Or would it be better not to pay Ancelotti a kings ransom which he will surely get and look for a more hungrier, younger manager with a proven win rate?
Look at Arsenal a club in crisis who have reportedly lost interest in the highly experience Ancelotti for Mikel Arteta, who has no first team coaching experience but is being mentored by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
In getting in Ancelotti and saying good bye so quickly to Ferguson it just seems that we were given some insight to a football free from the powers of money and Premier League marketing. Everton had taken a time travel machine but of positive vibes. Before you can say suited and booted they are back with a classy Italian in charge. Hopefully he will be able to understand the club and his job quick enough not to be picking up an early P45.
He deserves all of the plaudits and hopefully if Ancelotti is indeed appointed as manager he can really move the club up to the next level, one just wonders if this move is a smart one or a vanity one?
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