Cometh the hour, Cometh the man, Cometh Carlo Ancelotti

Scott Robinson 27/12/2019 5comments  |  Jump to last

It could not have been a more opportune moment to watch the excellent documentary: Everton Howard's Way, at the same time as the 3pm kick-off for yesterday's Boxing Day game (as I could not watch the game). I remember checking in on the score during the documentary and seeing my BBC update flash "1-0 Everton", and an enormous smile was brought to my face.

The nostalgia that such documentary brought reminded me of how much football has changed - when players were all of the same origin and really loved and played for the club and the manager. I could not help think what is better - today's multi-billion dollar game full of TV rights and foreign players, or yesterday's game. That said, it is irrelevant and the game has evolved since then but the lessons remain the same...

One particular scene will remain with me. Peter Reid, just signed with the club and duly got stuck into the booze the night before. Turning up to his first training session hungover and generally performing at a 'sub-optimal' level, he apologised to Howard Kendall. Afterwards. Kendall said, "you like a drink don't ya?". Reidy said he did. Kendall then responded, "you'll do alright at this club then". Reidy then commented that he would run through a brick wall for this manager.


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Step forward 30-odd years and Everton may have just found a manager for whom the players will run through a brick wall, too.

If there is anything in management that success requires (in any discipline), it is respect. Respect for their experience, success and as a seasoned professional, that's got them to where they are today. Without it, the potential for success is limited.

If we look at the managers since Moyes (and I think a lot of the players who played in that era had respect for him too), could we say anything like what we have on the table today?

Yes, Martinez had won a FA Cup. But he also got Wigan relegated. Winning a cup involves some element of luck; winning the title is where the skill really lies.

Yes Ronald Koeman was a legend at Barcelona, but his stoic efforts at Southampton were all he could refer to in terms of it's only leagues that count.

Allardyce was a journeyman whose only shot at glory in the England role was fatally taken away from him in an undercover bung. As a 'relegation battling specialist', this was the glass ceiling that defined him.

Which brings us to Silva. Again, relegation hung over him at Hull, and his short stint at Watford did not end well. Perhaps things might have been different had we won the game at Anfield in his first season in charge, (instead of cruelly losing it). Then again, with the easiest start in the club's history for a long time, how he managed to blow it has been well documented on this site. The fact that the players referred to him as 'teacher' in signing off on social media suggests he was well liked, but 'respect', I'm not so sure.

Which brings us to Ancelotti. I have read he is 'light touch'. I have read that he likes to work with established sides rather than 'build teams'. Some of this on the face of it might be true, but it takes some work to manage a bunch of "galacticos", and if working with established sides means just picking the starting 11 every week, then it didn't quite work out for David Moyes at Man U, nor the other illustrious managers at Chelsea either (eg AVB, Scolari, amongst others). No, he won trophies and titles there and was sacked because of the narcissistic traits of the owner and unbelievable expectations of managing a club like Chelsea. He has won across all the leagues that count in Europe, and the biggest clubs in the land too.

The difference now lies in that we have a manager who has won titles AND trophies. None of the players would have EVER played with such a manager (except perhaps the recent ex-Barcelona starlet), and they will listen to his ideas carefully and WHAT he has to say. They would like a piece of the action what has experienced in the past. There lies the trust. As high-performing athletes, the amount of money they earn is irrelevant. Most of them could retire tomorrow, comfortably.

No, these players just need to be motivated. Success at this level comes in the mind - excluding the Messi's and Ronaldos of these world, the difference in class between the rest is minimal. They just need to be coached to hit their highest potential. Ancelotti is the man to do this.

A fitting way to tribute the success and reputation that Howard Kendall brought to the club. I'm sure it was in the back of his mind when Carlo Ancelotti joined.

Onwards and upwards. COYB

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Reader Comments (5)

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Thomas Lennon
1 Posted 28/12/2019 at 09:17:03
Respect and trust. If what Ancelotti tells them to do results in a win then they learn to trust.
The relationship with a new manager always starts well but if the wins stop coming the trust fades away and respect dwindles.
Derek Thomas
2 Posted 28/12/2019 at 09:52:54
Oops, cock up on the sausage finger front; wrong thread.
Stan Schofield
3 Posted 28/12/2019 at 11:02:52
Ancelotti is clearly a top manager, undeniably one of the best. That means he knows how to organise a group of players into an effective unit. In other words, he can take any group of professional footballers and make them perform better as a team.

One of the problems with our recent managers has been the idea that the group of players they've been given 'is not their group of players' in that they didn't choose them. Then that manager replaces many of those players with new ones who aren't necessarily any better. What they should have been doing is focusing on getting the existing group of players to play better, and then to see what new players are needed in order to improve even further.

Finally, we have a manager with the credentials to do exactly this, or at least to give confidence that he can do this. This fact also makes Ancelotti's appointment fascinating, because it'll be interesting to see a group of players whom people have criticised individually finally performing better as an effective unit. In particular, the younger players will probably thrive in this environment.

Derek Taylor
4 Posted 28/12/2019 at 11:27:12
Have to agree, the best we could possibly get. We've waited long enough for a guy who ticks all the boxes but maybe just maybe.
Jerome Shields
5 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:54:09
The difference with Ancelotti is that he has a winning mentality and is confidence he has the ability to reach his objective. Everton have not had anyone of this type of mentality for over 20 years.

Ancelotti objective is to win any competition entered and qualify for as many of them as possible. He will want to stay in the FA Cup competition and qualify for Europe this season. He will want his team to continually improve and anyone involved to be fully committed. You will never hear Ancelotti talk about the first year of a project, he is immediately competing to achieve his objectives, from what ever situation he finds himself in.

Ancelotti has already fully assessed the capability of Everton to achieve his objectives, before he took the job. He would not have considered the job otherwise.

This explains why he is able to hit the ground running.

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