Everton Goes to Hollywood

Jay Wood 22/12/2019 52comments  |  Jump to last
Any Evertonian who "knows their ‘istory" will get the title of this piece: a nod to the 1980s band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and the publicly expressed desire by the club’s de facto owner, Farhad Moshiri, to appoint a ‘Hollywood Manager’.

Unquestionably, Mr Moshiri has contracted in Carlo Ancelotti possibly the brightest star in the football managers’ firmament. A multiple Oscar winner whose palm print would not look out of place on the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk where great movie stars down the ages have left their signatures, footprints, and handprints.

That some Evertonians are less than enamoured of Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment – as seen in the articles Stars in his Eyes by Martin O’Connor and Any Dream Will Do by Darren Hind – both amuses and bemuses me. Both authors slant their pieces to support their own preconceived notions that Carlo Ancelotti WILL fail at Everton.

I wish I could be so certain about anything in life, never mind about the likely success or failure of a new Everton manager... Nothing in life comes with guarantees. And that very much extends into the future performance on any player or manager a football club recruits.

That said, as in horse racing, your odds of success radically improve if you back a nag that has consistently winning form in Class 1 races over many seasons, particularly in the Classics, be they at domestic or international tracks.And in that regard, Carlo Ancelotti is an absolute thoroughbred. To conclude the analogy, if he was a stallion up for auction at Newmarket’s Tatersalls Horse Sales, he would fetch millions for his sale price. Everton has just done that.

For a number of years now I, like others on ToffeeWeb, have advocated that Everton pay top dollar to get in the very best high-profile manager they could. It was met with scorn by many who held such a lowly opinion of their own club that they felt it was beyond Everton to attract such a manager.

When I offered the example of Rafa Benitez going from Real Madrid to relegation-threatened Newcastle in the same season as an example that it was possible, there was no plausible reply as to why a similar appointment should be beyond Everton, already under the stewardship of Moshiri.

Even recently, the idea that the sacked Pochettino should be approached was met with scorn by many. “Why would he come to Everton?” The reply was a very simple one: MONEY! That, together with a vision that the club could sell to such high-profile managers to convince them that Everton was an option worth considering.

Yesterday’s appointment of one of football’s most decorated managers ever has extinguished once and for all the claim that Everton cannot attract a manager of the highest calibre to our club. It’s made the whole football world sit up and take notice, not just the UK media.

To a degree, I can understand the low expectancy level some Blues hold about their own club. This was reflected in the barely credible, but genuine calls by some who lobbied for the return of David Moyes as the only logical appointment to save us from relegation this season. This, even though it is 17 years ago since he first joined us, and 6 years since he left us. In those last 6 years, he has achieved nothing of note and been dismissed by four different clubs.

It was a combination of David Moyes (who I’ve acknowledged many times did good things in his 11 years at Everton) and the cosy relationship he had with Bill Kenwright that dumbed down and lowered the expectancy levels of not just the Everton fan base, but the wider football public. From being a historical giant of English football, we were reduced to ‘plucky little Everton, punching above our weight, against the heavyweight monied clubs.’

As Farhad Moshiri approaches his 4th anniversary as Everton’s majority shareholder, without question, he has made many false steps in his pursuit of the right manager, Director of Football, and player purchases. His pronouncements on football reveal a very shallow understanding of the game and of players. But, as the man with the money, he does have some kind of vision of what Everton needs and how to deliver it.

Possibly his most profound statement about Everton is that the club should not be a ‘museum’ living on increasingly distant past success. It needs to be modernised and become relevant... TODAY! NOW!!!

Cynics still abound and, for some, it may be moving glacier slow, but he is inexorably on course to moving Everton into a new stadium.

Marcel Brands has his critics, but by many independent accounts he – like Carlo Ancelotti in his field – is regarded as one of the very best. The chemistry and the demands those two place on each other at Everton is going to be decisive and impact on the success or otherwise of the club over (hopefully!) the next four years, should Carlo see out his contract.

I can understand the financial concerns, the parallels being drawn with Lerner’s Aston Villa and Peter Ridsdale’s Leeds United: how can we afford this and fund the recruitment the Italian would probably like to buy? Paul the Esk and Amit Vithlani can best answer that conundrum. Of course, as reported in the recruitment of Carlo Ancelotti, we have the intrigue of Alisher Usmanov allegedly being involved.

I’ve speculated before, but since I read someone somewhere reporting Sasha Ryazantsev as saying something along the lines that "Liverpool [the club, not the city] has no idea of what we are planning and where we want to take Everton", then shortly after Moshiri buying the Royal Liver Building with Bramley-Moore Dock already established as the new stadium location, I have wondered the following:

That Moshiri and some exceedingly rich interested parties are using Everton as the vehicle to facilitate a mammoth return on real estate and wider commercial interests that would result from a revival of the neglected area from the city centre to Bramley-Moore Dock (and beyond).

A front and back fill of the two compass points, a possible revival even of Liverpool Docks post-Brexit as the UK looks west rather than east for trade, the city an attractive destination for Cunard-like cruise ships, never mind the returns on investment that could result on the real-estate development that will happen, and some people could do very well out of this if it comes to pass.

The scary part for Everton is, if this all comes tumbling down and Moshiri does a runner, who picks up the tab for everything?

But back to the football. Another thing that Evertonians increasingly lean on is our ‘bad luck’. Without getting too much into it, I believe your own actions and words go a long way into determining your own ‘luck’. But let’s run a bit with this notion of ‘luck’.

Maybe, just maybe, the stars aligned for Everton either side of Silva’s dismissal. Consider this simple timeline:

Nov 19 Pochettino sacked by Spurs
Nov 29 Emery sacked by Arsenal
Dec 5 Silva sacked by Everton – Ferguson does sterling work as caretaker
Dec 10 Ancelotti sacked by Napoli
Dec 11 Times strongly reports that Moyes is a shoo-in for the manager’s job at Everton
Dec 16 Everton issues its only statement on the manager situation stating:

‘In the 11 days since Marco Silva left the club, the Everton Board have been working to recruit a new manager - and has held meetings with a number of candidates. We can confirm that thus far no contract offer has been made and no candidate has chosen to withdraw from the process.’

It is never a good time to sack a manager. It’s effectively an admission of failure, that the club is in some sort of crisis. Sacking a manager in the packed fixture month of December is far from ideal but, as the timeline shows, abnormally, there were a number of very good candidates available for Everton to approach, which we seemingly did do (add Arteta to that list).

Maybe, just maybe, for those who believe in such things, Lady Luck is smiling on us for once and the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti is written in the stars.

In conclusion, each to their own, but I am bewildered how or why any Everton fan cannot be genuinely excited by the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. It is yet another signal that Moshiri at least is embracing and attempting to live up to the club motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. And I, for one, am fully on board.

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Reader Comments (52)

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Jay Wood

1 Posted 22/12/2019 at 22:43:00

Note to the Ed's. I swear I
submitted this article with what appeared correct paragraph and list formatting.

Compacted as it is makes this a tough read on the eyes, as if the content itself isn't already!

Could you please tidy the paragraph breaks up please, Michael and Lyndon? Cheers!

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 22/12/2019 at 22:46:34
Why Jay, just skip the article and concentrate on what our owner is trying to do, which is something you will find in the last sentence!
Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 22/12/2019 at 22:58:39
That's weird, I did have it all nice... Xmas Gremlins!

Hopefully that's more like what you intended, Jay.

Good article BTW. I was going to challenge "Ancelotti WILL fail at Everton" but, after re-reading them... you're right. That is what they are saying.

It's Tony Marsh all over! He's probably still bleating about Allardyce!!!

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 22/12/2019 at 23:34:37
Two weeks ago we, all where in nightmare land.

Duncan's appointment as Caretaker Manager did not register with most of us, as we looked at December's fixture list. Who would want the job or be foolish enough to take it? Where was Brands? And is Moshiri out of control or is Kenwright going to get in control?

5 points later – which we all would have given our shirt for.

Carlo Ancelotti, who may know something, is Manager of Everton and it's Christmas. May be someone has actually got the right present for the fans. We should all be excited like Jay about what is about to be unwrapped.

Merry Xmas.

Derek Knox
5 Posted 22/12/2019 at 23:40:09
Jay, a good synopsis and a very pragmatic approach to our new Manager and how some of our fellow Blues can be skeptical is almost beyond me.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we don't all necessarily have to agree, with them, or indeed shout those down whose opinions differ from our own.

Yes Tony, hopefully good times ahead, let's face it, we have had more than our fair share of bad luck, bad appointments, both in players and Management alike. Let's hope we are on the start of a new and successful journey.

Michael, regarding those 'Xmas gremlins' you didn't feed them after midnight did you? :-)

Andy Crooks
6 Posted 23/12/2019 at 00:15:30
Good article, Jay and a good counter piece to Darren's piece. (Also a good article.) It really is possible to admire both sides of an argument.

I suspect, Jay, that Darren may take issue with your horse racing analogy. Class will always tell on the racecourse, allowing for injury, luck, poor jockey decisions. But, over the limited career of a thoroughbred, class will out. However, a thoroughbred has a limited engine and can and do go over the top, often never regaining their form. At this stage, they retire to stud.

I come down on your side, though, Jay. I think that Carlo has a big race in him. He is dropping into a handicap on heavy ground but, with first-time blinkers, he's got an each-way chance.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 22/12/2019 at 00:34:34
Most of the seemingly negative nellies don't want him to fail, I think they know these things can go either way - and wonder, given the vast (to us) sums involved just what will happen if he does fail... that's without even defining what success is.

Success? Let's say two seasons to sort out the shite of the previous four.
Then start to move it up through the gears

Success would be winning the League.

True success would be building and maintaining that status by spending more than 60% of the 15 seasons after that Title win in the Champions League. With pots on the sideboard every so often for good measure.

Frankie said Relax on the tee shirt 30yrs ago. Ancelotti says patience.

4 years is a long time in football, (Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd) teams rise and fall in that time.

Have we got patience for patience?

What's to stop Ancelotti and Moshiri doing well? Harold MacMillan's answer to a similar political question was – 'Events, dear boy, Events'

All we can do is sit back – take it 'One Game at a Time' and watch these 'Events' as they unfold, because they will and there's no stopping them.

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 23/12/2019 at 00:37:10
This isn't a gamble for Everton, this is a gamble for Ancellotti.

He's putting his reputation on the line coming into a totally dysfunctional club run by two idiots who haven't got a clue about running a football club.

Be strong, Carlo. This ain't going to be easy.

Ken Kneale
9 Posted 23/12/2019 at 01:00:41
Paul - a very well composed narrative articulating what has been Everton's problems for years and that this genuinely has the feel of a new dawn in terms of appointment. Kenwright, Moyes, and several subsequent managerial appointments, along with CEO's of low calibre have sucked the lifeblood and the hope and the expectations for this club dry for decades to suit their own agenda so let us celebrate an appointment that could start our climb back to our rightful place.
Mike Jones
10 Posted 23/12/2019 at 01:12:51
Humans aren’t horses
Peter Gorman
12 Posted 23/12/2019 at 03:08:06
of course, of course
Matt Traynor
13 Posted 23/12/2019 at 03:36:02
This may come across as glass half full, but I think maybe we have got lucky this time. Lucky because, yet again, Everton dispensed with a manager without having a replacement lined up. It is telling that Unsworth wanted nothing to do with the caretaker position, after his last experiene pre-Allardyce.

Lucky because Ancelotti suddenly became unavailable the following week.
Lucky because, compared to Napoli's ownership, BK and Moshiri must seem like a breath of fresh air.
Lucky because he was too expensive for Arsenal.

Colin#8, it's not a gamble for Ancelotti really. His reputation has been slightly tarnished with Napoli and Bayern compared to what went before. Worst case, he signs off several million better off with a trophy haul earlier on in his managerial career. Something like some of our recent managers can only dream of.

Steve Brown
14 Posted 23/12/2019 at 03:42:10
Excellent article Jay, sure we paid top dollar for a hugely successful coach and we got one. That despite the fact that every Sky Sports Six ex-player doing the rounds as a pundit claiming that we wouldn't pull it off, the red media smugly telling us to aim lower and plenty of own supporters setting out ambition levels at rock bottom with Moyes, Howe an explayer or another Silva type figure.

On his pay, apparently Ancelotti is the only manager in the premier league who receives a salary for the work he does. The rest do it for free!

The question I have for those who are already claiming Carlo will fail before he has even stepped onto the training pitch is this - what is your alternative? We've done ex-players, emerging coaches in the PL and foreign young coaches and the results have been complete failure. So, as Carlo says stay close to team!

Andrew Dempsey
15 Posted 23/12/2019 at 04:37:31
Full of Xmas cheer now.
What’s the point in going against it?
I love it, Jay. Let’s ‘av it!
Where is T. Marsh btw?
Surely, whatever scepticism you have (which is still lurking in the background somewhere for me), before a ball is kicked in the Ancelotti regime, his appointment restores pride and excitement about being a blue.
Even if he’s only here short-term, I expect high calibre signings which can only improve our style and profile.
If Duncan is to be the eventual successor, or some other young, hungry coach type of manager comes before him, they will have a better quality of player to work with (hopefully) and that’ll be down to lure of playing for Carlo.
It’s the season of hope.
Albert Perkins
16 Posted 23/12/2019 at 05:30:36
They say it's the hope that kills you. But it's also the hope that drives you on. We have been given another spark of hope and I'm going with it, breathing life and light into it in the hope all will be well. Or at least better.

But that's not enough. I hope we do fantastically well. At least I hope so.

Darren Hind
17 Posted 23/12/2019 at 05:40:04
Ancelotti is the Everton manager. Any article penned before his appointment by somebody stating he really hopes he does not get the job, is now rendered academic.

Evertonians over the age of sixty will have been around to see the great days of Catterick and Kendal. They have experienced the glory, The pride, The unbridled joy of seeing their team at the top of the tree. Once you have experienced this, I can guarantee you nothing but the best will ever satisfy you again.
The glory days seem so remote, so very far away, that many an older fan secretly fears He/She will never see them again. The longer it goes, the greater the fear. The suggestion that any of them would wish failure on any manager, player, coach or tea lady in order to say "I told you so" is risible. It says more about the accusers than the accused. Who in their right mind would trade that unbridled joy for telling a group of people they are unlikely to ever meet "I told you so" ?

I despise this acceptance, applause of everything that glistens. Everton may have gone to Hollywood, but they have called an ageing superstar for whom the phone doesnt ring as often as it used to. That merits discussion. Evertonia is a family and I believe if you want to be part of it, you don't just have a right to express concerns, you have an obligation.

Ancelotti won the champions League in 2013/14 after inheriting what was clearly one of the most talented group of players in the competition. Since then he has hardly been the Hollywood "A" list'er he is being portrayed here as. One German title with Bayern Munich before being driven out of town by his own senior players - Many of whom thought his idea's were dated. This is the all powerful Bayern Munich we are talking about here. The players sent a delegation to their board to plead for his removal. . is that not worthy of concern ? discussion ? Do we sweep it under the carpet as if it never happened ?

A super wealthy race horse owner looking purchase a horse to win the St Ledge will always look for the up and coming horse.. What he will NOT do is buy a horse which won it two and a half years ago and hasnt won since.
Every sportsman has a shelf life. They all reach time when their star doesnt shine quite so brightly. Once they reach the stage when they have stopped winning, they have a tendency to stay stopped.

Lets all pray we have found one of the very few exceptions

Tony Hill
18 Posted 23/12/2019 at 05:56:13
Indeed, let’s all pray.
Jamie Crowley
19 Posted 23/12/2019 at 06:54:05

And this:

Evertonia is a family and I believe if you want to be part of it, you don't just have a right to express concerns, you have an obligation.

Amen, and really well said.

It reminds me of "trust but verify", which I'm completely behind. I trust they've hired the right manager, I do, however, need to verify that as the weeks, months, and days pass. And there are concerns - age, last big paycheck factor, working with youth and not bought superstars, the effect all this has on the financials, etc.

That said, we've got a winner in my opinion.

Paul Tran
20 Posted 23/12/2019 at 07:35:57
Poor analogy, Darren. You can only run in the St Leger once, as a three year old. And they're usually won by that cheapskate operation Coolmore.

I'm hoping Ancelotti will be more like Sprinter Sacre. Great start, couple of years away, then right back to the top wowing his fans. Or like Yeats on the flat, who won at Ascot every year for ages.

Racing is full of top-notch, well bred horses with class and longevity. As is football. Look at the top two teams in the PL. They got two very expensive horses to manage them, didn't they?

We all have the right to question, most of us do. Many of us have experienced joy as well as heartache.

I'm not frightened of being optimistic. I might get disappointed, I'll bounce back. So maybe we can choose optimism/cynicism without rubbishing the other side?

If the former's right, we'll all be celebrating. If the latter's right, at least we tried and went for it. We could spend the rest of our days looking for a cheaper option that might just, this once, work.

I'm optimistic, without losing my head. My optimism isn't the Martinez empty sloganeering, it's based on cold logic.

If you gave me £100 to put on the Leger and gave me a choice of Coolmore or a lesser operation, I'd go for Coolmore every time. Shorter odds, less romantic, but when my money's down, I like going for people who know how to win, rather than might possibly win.

Darren Hind
21 Posted 23/12/2019 at 07:41:21

Not everyone is as informed as you about racing. A lot of people will not follow it. I simply used Jay's analogy and kept it simple using a race none racing fans would be aware of.

Remind me mate ? How many sprinter Sacre's have there been in your life time ?

Would you back the Coolmore horse if they wheeled out a jockey who hasnt won for years to ride it ?

Paul Tran
22 Posted 23/12/2019 at 09:14:02
I did, Darren. Twice. Joseph
O'Brien won the St Leger for his Dad and then won the Breeders Cup on George Washington. The Yanks thought it was nepotism. We knew 'the lads' wouldn't put up anyone who wasn't good enough. And we collected at 8/1.

This might not work. There are negatives, as with any candidate. The percentages tell me it has more chance than another heave at another up and coming guy. He's expensive mind, c£40m if he sees out his contract. That makes him cheaper than Siguurdson, or Walcott & Tosun combined.

It's bold, it's ambitious, it shows a willingness to commit to success that must be matched throughout the club. And across the board, I'm finding people's reactions to this appointment very, very revealing.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 23/12/2019 at 10:11:56
Good article Jay, great Posts Paul Tran.
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 23/12/2019 at 10:28:07
Our has-been jockey, just 3 months ago: Link
Stan Schofield
25 Posted 23/12/2019 at 10:36:47
Darren, you're no doubt right to be cautious. But, when rumours started that Everton were pursuing Ancelotti, the Reds I know all said there's no way he'd come to Everton. The media were basically saying it too. The consensus was that he could go most places much better than Everton, so why choose us?

But he HAS come to Everton, and it's shut up a lot of people. That in itself is a pleasure to see.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 23/12/2019 at 10:54:41
What's so revealing Paul T? I'm just seeing a fan base that has been pulled in that many directions since we finally found ourselves a money man, that they don't know what to think anymore.

I was going to right believe, when I wrote think above, because if you want to succeed, then you've got to believe, especially when the club have just appointed a man who has won absolutely everything, and alls we can ask now is for Carlo Ancellotti to give us absolutely everything, because we all know that hard work and talent, usually goes all the way to the very top.

Dave Williams
27 Posted 23/12/2019 at 11:28:39
Excellent article, Jay. It can be hard for some to be optimistic – there are still guys saying that Bramley-Moore Dock will never be built.

Much better to take an optimistic view. Carlo will want to preserve his reputation and will hopefully bring in two or three hardened players who will help to sort the others out. Cancelling the day off today is a good start as he has such limited time before Burnley.

Credit must go to the Board for this appointment; if everyone gives him a chance, this may well turn into a quite inspired choice. I can't see a trip across the park troubling him much – this guy knows what to do and it will be fascinating to see which players he likes and those he doesn't.

Laurie Hartley
28 Posted 23/12/2019 at 11:32:24
I share your optimism Jay.

I have just finished watching Carlo Ancelotti's first presser and was very impressed especially when he said - “Nothing is impossible in football.”

He strikes me as a man that still has something to prove and that he has come to Everton to do just that.

I think football managers differ from footballers and race horses in that their performance and ability does not necessarily have to deteriorate with age provided that they remain enthusiastic and willing to learn. In fact it could be that like a fine wine they improve with age.

Here is a man who knows how to win, has vast experience and football knowledge, and is bringing this to our club.

Contrary to what some have speculated regarding the impact on Marcel Brands of the appointment, I think we may see our new manager bring out the best in our director of football. He is also taking Duncan Ferguson on an assistant coach which augurs well for his and our future.

Darren, like you I have experienced the pride, the glory, and joy of Everton being at the “top of the tree”. I started going to the game in 1961 and saw my favourite Everton team win the First Divison Title in 62-62.

It was indeed a glorious time to be an Evertonian, but there is one game that sticks out in my mind from that era and has remained with me ever since – when we played Inter Milan in the European Cup at Goodison and drew 0-0.

We had a great team that included my favourite Everton player of all time – Tony Kay. I saw that team shred great teams at Goodison. Modern-day commentators talk about Goodison being a bear pit. They know nothing – the stands were shaking that night and we threw everything at Inter but we just couldn't break them down.

I formed an opinion that night – Italians know a lot about football. I know Herrera was Argentinian but his football was Italian.

I have got a very good feeling about the nous our new Italian manager will bring to our great club. He will be the catalyst that we need to get us back to the top of the tree.

He has asked for the support of Evertonians to help him and the team - he has got me 100%. I don't care if he is only 10 years younger than me. 😉

Drew O'Neall
29 Posted 23/12/2019 at 11:47:26
Jay, in the words of Alan Partridge; ‘Yes, yes and yes.’

Always glad (and sometimes relieved) to listen to your voice of reason and measured optimism.

I’ll sometimes read a post, or a particularly irking comment, with a bee in my bonnet but then see that you have already articulated my thoughts so thanks also for saving me hours of vitriolic tapping at my iPhone!

Paul Tran
30 Posted 23/12/2019 at 11:55:27
Tony, I'm talking about the wider world and how various media outlets and fans of other clubs are reacting, just as much as some on here.
Stan Schofield
31 Posted 23/12/2019 at 12:13:10
Laurie @28: That is a really articulate post that says so much about Everton, our former glories, and our hopes and aspirations that might now finally start to be realised with this world class manager.
Martin Nicholls
32 Posted 23/12/2019 at 12:18:04
Darren#17 - if I've ever suggested (I don't think I have) that anyone actually wishes failure on an Everton manager etc in order to say "I told you so" then that was never my intention.

What I do and I think others believe is that, in the event of such a failure, there are those who would take some small degree of comfort from being able to say "I told you so".

As an example, there is a frequent poster on most threads pertaining to Bramley-Moore Dock who claims with some authority that the ground will never be built and almost ridicules those who are optimistic about that project. I feel certain that, if the project were to fail, he at least would take some comfort in the "I told you so" claim.

James Hughes
33 Posted 23/12/2019 at 12:33:08
Not too sure about Hollywood but, with this Carlo fella in charge, we'll get to Europe, and not just for friendlies! it's better than destination Kirkby as well.

Ciao e benvenuto, Signore Ancelloti!

Rick Tarleton
34 Posted 23/12/2019 at 14:04:04
The resevations some of us have are not about Ancelotti's credentials or his record, but he is of that select group of managers who have always worked with quality squads and huge resources. The Guardiolas, Mourinhos and Zidanes of this world are excellent managers, but they have always worked at a stratosphere and with all due respect to the current Everton squad and the current resources, particularly if the new stadium has to be paid for, are not of that stratosphere,
In a sense keeping Brighton or Bournemouth in the Premier League is as much of an achievement as keeping Man City or Liverpool at the very top of our league.
Ancelotti may well be able to, and I fervently hope he is, improve, Holgate, Keane, Kean and even Sigurdsson and Walcott. But these are not the players he has worked with in the past.
Ferguson has done excellently in the short term, but I fear his style might take us out of the bottom six, but not into the top six.
I deserately hope and pray that Ancelotti removes my nagging doubt and I wish him and us a great New Year or five.
Don Alexander
35 Posted 23/12/2019 at 14:38:43
At the moment it's just words (but it can't be any more) as it was with Moshiri when he took over with his lamentable three-year project. I hope that everyone at Everton is now quickly galvanised into dismissing a three-year project as unnecessary. Two transfer windows, properly funded, for a manager like CA should be enough to gatecrash the top.

Let's see what happens, and, for me, I've just seen our matches against Burnley and City are live on TV. Coincidence?

Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 23/12/2019 at 16:54:26
Don - I think all Boxing Day matches are being streamed by Amazon ie not tv.
Steve Brown
37 Posted 23/12/2019 at 17:07:32
Darren, I get where you are coming from that Ancelotti hasn't won a trophy as a manager for two years and that his best days may be behind him - I don't agree with that by the way as class is permanent. Klopp didn't win a trophy in his first three years at Liverpool, but he was always a top manager and look at him now.

The counter-argument is that we have spent the last 20 years hiring managers who never had a shelf life, whose star never shone brightly in the first place and who never started winning to be able to stop. We've now taken the radical step to hire a hugely successful manager who has won everything.

As Tony Abrahams says, he has found Everton fans' reaction to the hiring of Ancelotti very revealing. Carlo has been called a mercenary and it has been claimed "he WILL fail' even before he has held a training session. That to me is a symptom of how defeated some of our fans are by what they have gone through over 25 long years - even when a great outcome is there, they can bring themselves to accept that the ambitions they have for the club are actually being matched by the club.

John Keating
38 Posted 23/12/2019 at 18:39:56
Everything in life is a gamble.
However better spending the money on a proven winner like Ancelotti rather than no marks like Silva.
As Paul says Ancelotti over the piece will cost less than what we paid for Sigi.
Since Howard Mk1 we've tried almost everything and to all intents and purpose all have failed. This is the first time we've employed such a high profile serial winner.
If Ancelotti can harness the pride and commitment Ferguson has tried to reignite together with his nous, experience and man management skills, we may well get the best team and play since Howard Mk 1, which can only be a plus surely.
Mark Andersson
39 Posted 23/12/2019 at 20:41:33
Love the article and DH response...
Maybe Darren that Dunc is the jocky riding the old horse

If Dunc has been kept on in a more senior roll then his enthusiasm and passion along with the experiance of Carlo can get the best out of the players..

We need to get behind the club and hope that our Hollywood can still win a Oscar with best supporting cast making it a clean sweep..

Conor McCourt
40 Posted 23/12/2019 at 20:45:24
I think every Everton fan has to look at what the club needs and believe is in the best interests of our club. Much of Jays piece is certainly fair and now that Ancelotti is appointed we must all get behind him.

This is the last negative post I will give on Carlo but I feel I need to defend my thoughts and right to them. There has been quite a derogatory tone on Tweb (not directed at Jay) over the last week where legitimate concerns have been met with a] your a kopite b] your small minded or c] we are lucky to have him.

I have real concerns about his suitability for the role and I find it bizarre that many twebbers who complain about certain facets about our club don't feel we have the right to question this.

1-His ability to get us overachieving. The last time he overachieved in a league campaign was with Parma. He has had some great teams over the years yet all his remarkable successes have been in Cup competitions. If we don't overachieve it will be a long time until we are competitive. In addition his teams are often streaky.

2- The last few jobs I feel he has badly underperformed with respect to the resources he had.

3- Many of our fans question our fitness levels regularly yet we are appointing a manager where players at his last 2 clubs have openly revolted against their conditioning.

4- Many Twebbers have argued that Marcel Brands is the best thing that has happened to our club. Yet I'd be astonished if Carlo wasn't Moshiris choice and the appointment seems counterintuitive to the policy since Brands arrived. It raises serious question marks about his role going forward.

5-Linked to this was a clear annoyance for most of us with the last three managers continually ignoring our younger players in favour of seasoned pros who were underperforming. Carlo usually sides with experience so there is a chance these grievances will continue.

6-We have seen what big Dunc has brought in terms of his understanding of the club, the ethos and the Goodison factor. I was pleased to hear Carlos acknowledge that but his teams are generally less aggressive and intensive so will/can he adapt?

7- Finally does he retain the hunger and is he yesterdays man? Or will we be getting a determined winner dying to rejuvenate his reputation.

Just to be clear many posters feel we are small minded for not preferring Carlo but then say he is better than Silva, Moyes etc. To me that's equally small minded to want a manager because he's better than average ones.
In addition we aren't lucky to have him as he has just failed at a similar sized club with similar spending power to us and is no longer wanted by the elite (Arsenal didn't want him ffs)

I am sorry that myself and a few others feel he may not be right for us. I am certainly not questioning his glorious past, the ambition of the club or slagging off those that are delighted. I sincerely hope my concerns are unfounded and I will be supporting and cheering him as much as anyone and like Jay says this is a signing of unprecedented calibre.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 23/12/2019 at 20:59:41
Conor, his last few jobs include Real Madrid. You cannot under-estimate the job he did there. 12 years without the Champions League trophy. They were stuck on 9 wins. They were obsessed, absolutely obsessed, with number 10. The "Decima" they called it. It's all their fans talked about for 12 years. They brought in manager after manager to do it, look at the list, it is a who's who:

1. Carlos Quieroz
2. Jose Camacho
3. Mariano Garcia Ramon
4. Vanderlei Luxemburgo
5. Juan Ramon Lopez Caro
6. Fabio Capello
7. Bernd Schuster
8. Juande Ramos
9. Manuel Pellegrini
10. Jose Mourinho
Carlo Ancelotti was lucky 11.

Bayern was a relative failure, according to yourself, but he still did the double in his only full season there and had a 70% win ratio.

We've already done Napoli and disagreed so I won't re-open that one.

But the thrust of your post is you have concerns. We all have concerns. It's normal. We'd have concerns if it was Guardiola. My concerns are different. I think we need a first class coach, someone who Silva was meant to be, and who can educate our players to be great footballers, moulding young talent and evolving the team over a few seasons, like Pochettino did. Ancelotti is referred to as a player's manager. Someone who understands them and can listen to them and enables them to play, rather than teaches them to play. Our squad cost a fortune. Maybe they do need someone like Ancelotti to listen to them, maybe they don't need the education, maybe myself and others have this completely wrong. Or maybe, Carlo Ancelotti fancies educating them himself. He was there in his tracksuit, hands on, in training this morning. Maybe he fancies getting back in the thick of it one more time?

Concerns are fine. It shows we care. We just need to back him in the stadium, and to be patient with the project. We cannot be calling for his head at the first sign of trouble, whether he's our man or not. The fact is, by being Everton manager, he is our man.

Mike Gaynes
42 Posted 23/12/2019 at 21:19:43
Conor #40, I'm sorry, but I believe the opening premise of your post is malarkey. I saw many, many, many words from you on this topic, and I disagreed with most of them, but I never saw a single response that suggested you didn't have the right to post them. And certainly none that called you a Kopite. Disagreement is not a challenge to your right to post, and frankly I think your complaint is simply an attempted justification for posting one "last negative post I will give on Carlo", which requires no justification and will certainly not be your last negative post.

Just be like Darren #17, who won't hold back for a moment -- the first time Ancelotti sends out a lineup that doesn't work -- to opine that Duncan (or Rhino) would have done it better. Just let rip. Nobody will challenge your rights.

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 23/12/2019 at 21:36:23
Conor #40 " I am certainly not questioning his glorious past".

I think you did earlier in your piece, Conor.

John Keating
44 Posted 23/12/2019 at 21:40:05
everyone has a right to their opinion.
Can I ask who you would have preferred to be our next manager after Silva
Conor McCourt
45 Posted 23/12/2019 at 22:48:27
Steve I don't think we are actually disagreeing on too much. I was referring to Napoli and Bayern but even Madrid for me symbolises Ancelottis career with the magnificent CL win and also finishing outside the first two in the league.

I was in the same boat as you in wanting a dynamic young hungry coach who can improve players and build a squad and Pochettino and Spurs were always the role model for that and now Leicester are. I don't just have concerns about Ancelotti I really feel he was more suited to Arsenal and their needs than being the right man for us.

Previously I had always viewed Ancelotti as a man to get players performing to their level, to sort out big egos, to organise teams and get players enjoying to play for him.
Yes he was a big game manager but will he get the chance to manage in those big games here if we can't maximise our resources.

I also agree with your assertion we now have our man so let's get behind him. I did the same with Silva despite my reservations about him and it wasn't until after the Norwich game that I called for his head. Carlo is one of us now

Mike Gaynes- I didn't state it was directly at me but on the imminent thread there were a few posters who specifically mentioned the idea of undercover reds. It actually pissed off Jer Kiernan into an angry response.

John -I think Pochettino was the dream candidate. Personally I would have wanted to gamble on Arteta from our realistic choices. Yes he is a novice but with his ability to improve players, the intensity he would bring from City, the understanding and unity of Goodison, the hunger he displays plus he is the most credible number two around who has no ceiling on how good he could be. I think he would be a great fit but obviously as Paul and Darren would say he has no course and distance experience.

Brent- on another thread Steve Ferns outlined his achievements and the only differences I argued with was Napoli and his league record in general. Some think he was a lucky manager I don't. He produced some exceptional teams and I believe his CL record is actually the best around considering he won it with different teams and could have had a few more with a different referee lol...you will know the one I mean.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 23/12/2019 at 22:56:36
Conor, if Carlo Ancelotti gets the right coach in, he could be the dynamic hungry young coach we want. A hands-off Ancelotti overseeing such a man, but yet using his world class in game management to win games.

Problem is, today's training session showed Carlo Ancelotti front and centre. I couldn't even see his son. It was just Carlo and Duncan. But the video was a few minutes long and the club would not release anything of substance.

Meanwhile, were is Luca Guerra? Why's he not coming in? Why is Carlo Ancelotti sticking with Alan Kelly?

Who is the assistant coach Ancelotti referred to? Is it Manuel Morabito? Because I thought he was more of a fitness coach who will work with Francesco Mauri?

Brent Stephens
47 Posted 23/12/2019 at 23:09:26
Conor. Ok.
Don Alexander
48 Posted 23/12/2019 at 23:55:23
Okay, folks, I admit I'm tired, but Steve Ferns (#46) watching video of Finch Farm today impresses me.

I've gone on and on about the miasma (in my opinion) that's long engulfed Finch Farm but Steve's observations dishearten me. I want not only a manager, 5 star or otherwise, but also a purging of the people at Finch Farm, and very much above, who've been associated with producing dross for decades from within there.

I hope Ancelotti has the credentials in Moshiri's mind to soon impress upon him the need for a purge of all things "An' if yer know yer 'istory", as entrenched at Finch Farm.

We're one of six founder clubs of the Premier League but alone of the six our 'istory is shite in the Premier League.

Take a bow, Mr (£75 million to the good after 25 years of dross) Kenwright.

Bill Gienapp
49 Posted 24/12/2019 at 07:00:07
In regards to the Bayern Munich mutiny, let's be honest here. This is a group of players who'd been previously managed by Pep Guardiola. They're used to winning the Bundesliga every year and competing deep into the Champions League. They are, for lack of a better word... spoiled ("jaded" might be slightly kinder). The ringleader was Arjen Robben, who's pretty much known as a grade-A prick.

Our squad is coming at Ancelotti's appointment from a *completely* different perspective/mindset. Many of these players were toiling under Sam Allardyce two years ago. If they have any sense, they'll be jumping at the opportunity they've just been gifted to work with one of the world's most accomplished managers.

So should the Bayern Munich incident be worthy of concern? Honestly? Not really, no.

Jay Wood

50 Posted 24/12/2019 at 15:17:36
Coming back to this thread a couple of days after I first submitted it, I'd like to respond to some posts and points made. In doing so, I'd like to do two things:

1) Challenge some misconceptions some have made about Carlo Ancelotti's previous two appointments;

2) Not SILENCE the ‘nay-sayers' unconvinced by his appointment at Everton, but again challenge their reasoning.

First up, in the two ‘opposed' articles I referenced (by Martin O'Connor and Darren Hind) both attempted to portray the notion that Carlo Ancelotti's star is on the wane, that his methods are dated (Darren went so far as to describe him as ‘a dinosaur') and that he no longer commands the respect of players, having ‘lost' the changing room at his last two posts at Bayern Munich and Napoli.

Now I'm not someone who takes any news report or comment on ToffeeWeb at face value. I apply the mantra of Jamie @ 19 – ‘trust but verify'. So I did some research on the ‘Bayern Munich Players Rebel Against Ancelotti' story. Having done so, I conclude it's a mixture of some truth, but a whole lot more embellishment and fiction.

The fading stars, Robben and Ribeiry, were said to be the prime movers in complaining to the Bayern board about Carlo's training methods. Robben was reported to have said the training at his kid's junior football school is more intense than at Bayern Munich under Ancelotti. That damning comment evidently stuck in the minds of many, such as Martin, Darren and Connor (@ 40).

Only, Robben never made such comments. Being a blunt-speaking Dutchman, he moved very quickly to denounce the quotes attributed to him, as seen at this link:


“They are bullshit. All of a sudden there are things appearing in the media that I would like to distance myself from. These so-called quotes are bullshit. I hate it when things like this happen. I am the last person out there who would have a go at a coach, a fellow player or anyone else. You have to be a man when someone leaves and don't hit out at anyone."

Hard on the heels of this, you had ex-Bayern Munich defender and current Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel taking Franck Ribery to task for his part in Ancelotti's sacking (see link):


“Franck Ribery has not scored a goal in the Champions League in the last two years. He still sees himself on the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. But the truth is when it matters, he is not there.

“It is a bit annoying for me that the whole thing is now shifted to Carlo Ancelotti. Ribery has great merits for the club and has been a fantastic player. But this position he once held is one he cannot now fulfill in my eyes.”

Babbel claims Ribery is too close with Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness. According to him, whenever Ribery is upset, he simply approaches Hoeness with his complaint, and the president does all he can to settle the issue. Basically, Babbel thinks that Ribery complained too often and that is why Ancelotti was sacked.

Furthermore, it would also appear that the Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness who pulled the trigger on Carlo Ancelotti's time at Bayern had no issues with the man himself, but with his backroom staff. See link:


"It definitely didn't work out with Ancelotti's backup staff. With Carlo, everything was fine, but there were arguments of some kind every day between Ancelotti's physios, medical staff and coaches." Hoeness.

Only a month or so later did Carlo Ancelotti make any sort of public statement on his dismissal from the German champions, saying (see link):


"I have a way of working that I do not change," he said on Italian TV show Domenica Sportiva. "It was demanded of me to do that, and I simply did not accept it. Whatever decision you make, if the club does not protect you, you're dead.

"If you sort out a player, he then goes to the club and is strengthened by them, then you lose face with him in front of the other players. You will not recover from that.”

As for Napoli, that mess was most certainly not of Ancelotti's making, but that of the club president. If anything, Carlo showed great integrity and sacrificed his own job security by siding with the players as this link about FIFPRO – the global players union protecting their interests – highlights:


"FIFPRO is standing by ready to assist, in close co-operation with AIC (Italian Players' Association), to ensure the players are not subjected to further abuse and intimidation," FIFPRO said in a statement.

De Laurentiis (the Napoli president) ordered the team into a 'ritiro' or training retreat after a 2-1 league defeat to rivals Roma saw the Serie A runners-up slip to seventh in the league.

But as coach Carlo Ancelotti voiced his disagreement with the lockdown, the players all returned home after a 1-1 draw against Salzburg three days later, which stalled their bid to reach the Champions League last 16.

Finally, in the wake of Carlo's recent dismissal from Napoli, read how greatly appreciated he was by many of the players in this link:


Connor @ 40 makes the same charges as Martin and Darren did in their articles, namely his points:

2. The last few jobs I feel he has badly underperformed with respect to the resources he had.

3. Many of our fans question our fitness levels regularly yet we are appointing a manager where players at his last 2 clubs have openly revolted against their conditioning.

I believe the links I've provided go some way to debunking the claims some make that he ‘lost' the respect of the players at both Bayern and Napoli.

There is absolutely no evidence that his training methods are no longer effective, or that tactically he is now a ‘dinosaur' as Darren dismisses him. This very season, his ‘struggling' Napoli team twice outplayed the all-conquering neighbours, beating them 2-0 at home and with better fortune could definitely have won at Anfield rather than draw.

I also feel that the likes of Connor and Darren attempt to portray themselves as unfairly labelled as ‘doom-mongers' and ‘nay-sayers' for expressing doubt over Carlo Ancelotti's appointment, falsely making out that they are being ‘shouted down'. Not so. As they are at liberty to express their views and contest those of others on TW and beyond, the inverse is also valid for those challenging them. Some of their concerns are legitimate and worthy of debate.

What I take issue with, particularly in the case of Darren, is how he offers his opinion as accepted fact. For example: “How come so many top or world-class players have disliked playing for him?” Darren provides no evidence to support this claim.

I did extensive searches by each club he managed of players under him who criticised, or praised him. Other than the Bayern story (the veracity of which is questionable as I already demonstrated), all I found was page after page after page of Ancelotti PRAISING his players. No negative links. This single page is full of wholesome praise from many great world class footballers of Carlo Ancelotti, the man and the manger:


Darren nailed his colours to the mast early, before Ancelotti was even appointed, stating: “Him failing at Goodison is not simply a possibility; I believe it to be a certainty. A forgone conclusion.

Perversely IMO, on the Martin O'Connor thread @ 30, Darren attempts a convoluted slight of hand to tar and feather the (I believe) overwhelming majority of Evertonians enthused by Carlo Ancelotti's appointment as grovelling and passive, reeking of small-time mentality. Here are Darren's very words:

“I'm sick to the back teeth of seeing Evertonians being grateful when somebody deems to accept a staggering salary. It reeks of small-time mentality. We are not Bournemouth. We are one of the oldest and without doubt finest footballing institutions in the world. What the fuck has happened to this club? We were here a century before Ancelotti got his first gig and will be here another century after he has done his last.”

Eh?! Do-wot?!

I know Darren is giving in to hyperbole and doesn't concern himself too much with facts or truth in doing so, but that one is right up there with THE most bizarre claims he has ever made on TW.

That those who welcome THE most successful and decorated manager Everton has ever appointed in its history display a small-time mentality and view our club as no better than Bournemouth. Whilst Darren represents…what exactly, we have no clue.

Darren is at it again in this thread @ 17, stating that: “I despise this acceptance, applause of everything that glistens”, continuing his theme of both deriding Carlo Ancelotti's record and portraying his fellow Blues as cretinous undiscerning fools easily distracted and deceived by a glitzy new toy.

I'll simply conclude by saying, as a fiercely independent thinker not easily taken in by supercilious waffle, if Evertonians cannot be enthused or excited at landing a manager of Carlo Ancelotti's evident pedigree, then when can we?

John Pierce
51 Posted 24/12/2019 at 15:39:21
To critique the man is fair enough, to do so in comparison to the dross we hired since Moyes is frankly ridiculous.

On Ancelotti’s worst day he’s streets ahead of anything we’ve had in years. So what if the fella has peaked? Already in days here he has walked the city met people, as per his typical approach looked to imbue himself with the culture of the city.

To even believe Duncan or Unsworth could even fathom how to get their head around this football club is a stretch. I’d wager both would say as much.

Calm, decorated, experienced and ‘in charge’ is what the players will see. Not a pup trying like ‘scrappy do’ as to impress us all with modern tactics.

We have a manager who will not let the team slide. His ability to change things in game is key, I doubt we will see winless runs of the like we’ve seen in the last 5 years.

Comfortably the best appointment or signing we’ve made since Joy Royle.

Conor McCourt
52 Posted 24/12/2019 at 19:24:15
Jay, I don't think you have debunked anything of the sort. According to Kicker, 5 senior players had been complaining to the board and players had been doing extra sessions because of fitness concerns. By using Marcus Babel as the authority on the subject is meaningless and calling players "fading stars" would call into question your objectivity in seeking the truth.

I agree with you that players do have a lot of respect for Ancelotti but believe that his methods may not be evolving to the requirements of the modern game. He is also reported to have stated that it is not his style to work players hard in training.

Again. you have argued that at Napoli "the mess was certainly not of Ancelotti's making but that of the club president" and you question my view that Carlos did not use his resources well there.

Napoli- 2017-18 91 pts 2.39 pts per game
2018-19 79 pts 2.08 pts per game
2019-20 19 pts 1.58 pts per game (nb points BEFORE owners ritiro)

This is how Carlos performed in his two seasons and the second years figures are taken prior to the owner's intervention so I fail to see why you have a problem with my assertion in Napoli as he took title challengers into also-rans and as a "fiercely independent thinker", I would have thought you would have challenged the media myth that Carlos was hard done by in Napoli.

Happy Xmas to All Evertonians and let's hope we beat Burnley as our Xmas gift.

Jay Wood

53 Posted 24/12/2019 at 20:39:17
Conor @ 52.

The devil as always is in the detail, Conor.

I don't claim to have totally debunked some of the claims you (and others) made with regard to Carlo's previous two appointments. I quite clearly stated two things:

1) "I conclude it's a mixture of some truth, but a whole lot more embellishment and fiction."

2) "I believe the links I've provided go some way to debunking the claims some make that he ‘lost' the respect of the players at both Bayern and Napoli."

You quote Kicker that 5 senior players had complained to the board. I quoted one of those players - Robben - who IMMEDIATELY debunked those very same quotes Kicker attributed to him as fabricated 'bullshit'.

Yet you question MY 'objectivity in seeking the truth' whilst you conveniently ignore the counter evidence I offer.

Robben (34, going on 35 years old) and Ribery (35, going on 36) were fading stars at the time of Ancelotti's dismissal in October 2017.

In the following season, 2018-19, Robben made just
12 Bundesliga appearances, mostly as sub, clocking up just 567 minutes game time - less than 50 minutes on average per game.

Ribery was similar. 25 league appearances, but again used sparingly at an average of 47 minutes per game.

Both retired this past summer. The very definition of 'fading stars', I politely suggest.

Your choice Conor to insist that the mess at Napoli was Ancelotti's rather than the club president and equally your choice to insist that Carlo did not use his resources well there.

The facts are in his single full season he finished 2nd to runaway leaders Juventus. That's not failure. This season, he garnished 21 points from his 14 Serie A games in charge and left them in 7th. They are now 8th, with just three more points in their 3 games since. A definite dip on the previous season, but hardly terminal given all the shenanigans going on at the club. Carlo Ancelotti conducted himself with integrity and good grace, siding with his players against the draconian club President, unmindful of his own position or job security.

Simultaneously this season, Napoli comfortably qualified from their CL group which included the holders Liverpool, undefeated. Indeed, he is the only manager and his the only team to beat Liverpool this season. Some failure that.

Barely hours after winning his final CL group game 4-0, he was dismissed. So yes, I will maintain that Carlo was hard done by in Napoli. I would question your own presumed 'impartiality' that you describe the same as 'a media myth'.

Not that I'm bothered. We've got one of the greatest managers of all time now as our head honcho at Everton. And if it's all right with you Conor, I will continue to rejoice in and celebrate that fact.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Crimbo to all.

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