Sunday , February 28 2021

How Ancelotti has transformed Everton from winning fans over to improving Calvert-Lewin – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk


As Carlo Ancelotti sat down to address the media ahead of Sunday’sFA Cuptie against arch-rivalsLiverpool, the wily Italian had a perfect icebreaker.

‘How many in here are Liverpool fans?’ Ancelotti asked, a smirk etched across his face as he said it.

Things are going well for Ancelotti andEvertonright now. Both have been revived after testing starts to the season.

Carlo Ancelotti has brought a feelgood factor back to Everton even in his short time in charge

Ancelotti looked worn down, tired by the squad mutiny that engulfed Napoli. For Everton, they were being hauled into a relegation battle under Marco Silva.

But Ancelotti, a three-time Champions League winner, has not only brought a renewed sense of belief, but has added a more positive style of play, got the best out of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in attack and has turned Goodison Park into a place where people now leave with smiles, rather than scowls, on their faces.

With Everton fans buoyed by the fact that Ancelotti is the only manager to beat Jurgen Klopp this season, after Napoli overcame them in the Champions League,Sportsmail

looks at the impact he has made since arriving.

MAKING THE BIG CALLS

One thing that has quickly become apparent with Ancelotti is that he has no qualms in making changes if he sees something he does not like.

Duncan Ferguson had put together a mini-run in the interim period between Silva’s sacking and Ancelotti’s appointment, and it would have been easy to stick with the status quo while he got to know the squad.

But in his first game in charge against Burnley, Ancelotti made two changes. He then made five for the game at Newcastle and a further five for the trip to Manchester City.

The experienced Italian is already showing that he is not concerned with making big decisions

Richarlison (right) looks to be in the core he trusts having started every game of his reign so far

The festive period is condensed and managers are required to use the depth in their side but for Ancelotti, it struck of a boss keen to properly understand his squad – who is up to it, and who is not.

He said in the build-up to Sunday’s game that no discussions over transfers will take place until after the final whistle and so the Merseyside derby is another chance for him to shuffle the pack if the jury is out on anyone.

What the changes have already indicated is that Mason Holgate, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Djibril Sidibe, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are among the core he trusts most. All five have started every game in his tenure and all will expect to get the nod at Anfield.

MAKING UNFAMILIAR POSITIONS FAMILIAR

Who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks? Ancelotti has quickly dispelled the myth that his tactics may be outdated having returned to the Premier League.

He has already shown a desire to deploy players in positions that they were not familiar with under Silva or his predecessors – and so far, he has seen his decisions pay off.

Sidibe has thrived as a right wing-back in the games against Burnley and Manchester City while Sigurdsson has dropped into a quarter-back role to dictate deeper in Everton’s midfield alongside Fabian Delph and Tom Davies.

The – – year-old has shifted the positions of some players, with Gylfi Sigurdsson now deeper

Seamus Coleman (right) is another to see his position changed as he forms part of a back three

His back three system has made them far tougher to break down and has given them a more attacking threat in wide areas with the full-backs playing more like wingers than out-and-out defenders.

Holgate and Coleman look set for long spells in the side as part of the back three if they can stay healthy.

MIDAS TOUCH WITH DOMINIC

When news of Ancelott’s appointment arrived, the first thought was that this would ignite Moise Kean’s career on Merseyside.

The 19 – year-old has struggled badly since joining in the summer from Juventus and is yet to score for the club this season.

As an Italian, the arrival of Ancelotti, often known as a player whisperer to coax the best from them, was expected to set him free to break his duck. But it has been Kean’s strike partner, Calvert-Lewin, that has excelled most under Ancelotti so far.

The former Sheffield United starlet showed his rising performance levels with a brace against Chelsea in Ferguson’s first game as interim boss and he has not looked back since.

One of the big successes of Ancelotti’s reign has been English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin

He scored the first three goals of Ancelotti’s tenure to secure wins over Burnley and Newcastle and has spoken glowing about the England prospect since walking through the doors at Goodison.

‘He was a player we followed [at Napoli] as a young striker, he was one of the players we followed but there was no possibility [to sign him],’ Ancelotti revealed recently.

‘There are a lot of people who have eyes on him.’

With Cenk Tosun likely to be allowed to depart, expect a new deal for Calvert-Lewin with Ancelotti ready to build a side around him for the future.

BREATH OF FRESH AIR

It was safe to say that under Silva, things had gone stale and there was an exasperation among supporters.

One of Ancelotti’s biggest impacts has been to bring a much more positive style of play from the off, dominating in possession and taking matches to the opposition.

In his opening two games, Everton produced 43 shots which was more than any other side in the Premier League managed over the same time frame.

It was also the highest number Everton have managed over successive games in four years, highlighting the club’s demise under Sam Allardyce and Silva.

His line-up at Newcastle showed supporters that he will be far more positive than Marco Silva

Even away at Manchester City, one of the toughest assignments in the league, Ancelotti was barking at his players to attack and get up the pitch to stop City dictating and that kind of ambition works wonders with the morale of supporters.

He has not been afraid to be bold with his team selections either, deploying Richarlison, Theo Walcott, Kean and Calvert-Lewin in the same line-up for the win away to Newcastle.

Now Everton fans have had a taste of free-flowing, attacking football, they will only want more.

FANS ADORE HIM
It should come as no surprise given the points listed above but fans are already smitten with him.

It has been been hard for supporters to really like any Everton boss since Roberto Martinez but Ancelotti has ended that particular sequence.

Ronald Koeman was quite a detached figure when in the dugout, Allardyce was Allardyce and Silva simply had no personality to win fans over.

Ferguson lit the torch again with the hugging of ball-boys and runs down the touchline against Chelsea, and Ancelotti has carried on the feel good factor ever since.

Fans are smitten with him already and many still are stunned that he has joined the club

His charming demeanor in press conferences is a welcome relief from the bristly nature of some of his predecessors.

The fact he took the job at all still has some in the famous Gwladys Street End in disbelief, given his stature in the game.

Ancelotti’s name is already on the lips of all the supporters, his stock is sky high and if he manages to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup, there may be calls to give him the freedom of the city from the blue half of Merseyside.

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