Carlo Ancelotti is now the manager of Everton, the club announced on Saturday. The announcement came just before the team’s game against Arsenal at Goodison Park that ended 0-0 in what was one of the most boring Premier League games of the season. Everton failed to even get a shot on goal, while neither team ever seemed even likely to create a good scoring chance, let alone score.
Ancelotti signed a four-and-a-half-year deal to lead the club in what’s a surprising get for Everton and an even more surprising move for the coach, who is used to leading big clubs like AC Milan, Real Madrid and others. Ancelotti was at the stadium to take in the Arsenal game, and let’s just say his head is probably spinning with all of the things that need to change.
Check out his reaction during the game:
Lots of work ahead for the Italian manager.
Now, here are three takeaways on the deal:
1. It’s a great get for Everton, but will it work?
Ancelotti, 60, is one of the best managers of the past couple of decades. He’s got three Champions League titles to his name, including two at AC Milan and one at Real Madrid. He’s won league titles in Italy (AC Milan, 2003-04), England (Chelsea, 2009-10), France (PSG, 2012-13) and Germany (Bayern Munich, 2016-17).
You can argue he’s the best coach on the market, which makes this a big acquisition for Everton, a club outside the Big 6 searching for its relevancy and fighting off relegation. You have to wonder how Ancelotti will fit in this environment compared to where he has coached in the past. This is the smallest club he’s coached since he was at Reggiana in 1996. He’s used to being at clubs that spend a lot of money, and that might not be a problem here because almost all of the Premier League tends to spend, and he should have time to get this working. But what is, exactly, the end goal? Is this the ambitious move Everton needs to consistently contend for European spots or will Ancelotti be fine with simply keeping this team consistently at mid-table? The latter seems unlikely.
This isn’t the type of coach Everton usually gets, and this isn’t the type of club Ancelotti usually manages. That’s why this is so intriguing.
2. Ancelotti’s familiarity with England helps
Despite this not being a big job, the fact that Ancelotti has experience in England helps. He coached Chelsea from 2009-2011 and won a Premier League title with the club. He knows what it’s like taking over a struggling team and trying to fix it though it’s usually at a bigger club, and it wouldn’t be surprise to see him get instant results. It’s always tough in the Premier League, but he is a legendary coach who will have the respect of the locker room from the beginning. It’ll be curious to see how the team approaches the transfer market, but you can bet he’s got some guarantee that he can bring in at least a couple players to fix this squad.
Everton is currently in 16th place in the Premier League with a 5-3-9 record and sitting just three points above relegation.
3. This is a missed chance for Arsenal
It’s absolutely shocking that Arsenal didn’t managed to swoop in and sign Ancelotti. The Gunners are a massive club with high expectations, a big budget and fit the profile of teams he has coached. Letting this opportunity pass them by is one Arsenal will regret for quite some time. It’s telling when Everton has a better manager than Arsenal, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the Toffees get close to Arsenal in the standings as a result.
The Gunners named Mikel Arteta coach on Friday.