Everton confirmed Carlo Ancelotti as the club's new manager on 21st December, 2019 following Marco Silva's dismissal from the role and the Italian's departure from Napoli, both earlier that month.
Ancelotti signed a four-and-a-half-year contract and became the third permanent appointee under Farhad Moshiri's reign at Goodison Park following the high-profile capture of Ronald Koeman in 2016 and the protracted pursuit of Silva that began the following year that led to the Portuguese being hired in May 2018. Controversial coach, Sam Allardyce, was installed on an interim basis after Koeman was sacked less 18 months into the job having achieved Moshiri's goal of avoiding relegation in 2017-18.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, was sacked by Napoli 10 days prior to joining Everton despite leading them to the second place in the Italian top flight last season and securing their passage to the knockout phase of the Champions League. It ended a difficult relationship with the Serie A club's chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis, one that had made a parting of the ways at Stadio San Paolo seem inevitable.
It was a fortuitous development for Moshiri who was said to have been within hours of handing David Moyes a route back into Premier League management before he was able to persuade Ancelotti to take up the challenge at Goodison Park.
The world-renowned Italian coach, who was infamously fired by Chelsea in a corridor at Goodison following a league game against Everton in 2011, was reportedly made one of the highest-paid coaches in Europe by Moshiri, although subsequent reports suggest he was signed up on the same £6m-per-annum salary that Koeman was on. It was generally, however, that he sought assurances from the Blues' hierarchy that there was scope for significant investment to upgrade the team.
He officially took charge on Boxing Day 2019 when the Toffees faced Burnley at home, taking the reins from Duncan Ferguson who had successfully steered the club out of the relegation zone over a three-match stint that yielded a rousing Premier League win over Chelsea and draws against Manchester United and Arsenal. Ferguson would stay on at the club as one of the new man's assistants alongside Ancelotti's son, Davide.
Ancelotti is one of the most decorated managers in the game and, as such, his appointment represented an impressive coup for Everton and another statement of intent by Moshiri. The Reggiolo-born manager assumed his 10th managerial role having helmed some of the biggest names in European football, including Juventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint- Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He had won 15 major trophies in his 24-year career prior to arriving at Goodison, is one of a select few to have won the Champions League three times and has won league titles in four different countries.
His tenure at Everton had barely got going, however, before he was off back to Madrid in June 2021. He had tempted James Rodriguez to Goodison with the promise of as much first-team football as he could manage while also driving the acquisition of Allan from his previous club, Napoli.
Ancelotti stabilised the Toffees' performances in the early months of his tenure before the team's form dropped off again with the resumption of the 2019-20 season following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Citing the need to overhaul the midfield, the decorated boss helped bolster the squad with the signings of James, Allan and Adboulaye Doucouré, acquisitions that sparked a scintillating start to 2020-21.
Everton were the early pace-setters in the Premier League and were still sitting second after Christmas before the season, not to mention the club's European-qualification hopes, was wrecked by a dreadful sequence of results at home in an empty Goodison Park. The Blues ultimately finished 10th after losing 5-0 to City on the final day of the campaign.
While Ancelotti's only full season at Everton was dogged by concerns over the absence of any discernible style of play and an inability to turn around that abysmal home form, he did oversee the club's best away record of the Premier League era with 11 wins on the road.
The hope and expectation was that with another summer to work with Marcel Brands and a first complete season with fans in the grounds, Ancelotti might have been able to lead Everton back to the upper echelons of the English game and to some long-overdue trophy success.
Instead, Moshiri and Brands had to go back to square one as they seek to lay more of the foundations on which some stability can be built at a club that was forced to search for its sixth manager in the space of five years.
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* Everton deducted 10 points for PSR breachView full table