Everton earlier today announced that Carlo Ancelotti would be taking over as the new permanent manager.
The Royal Blue Mersey crew put their heads together to discuss some expectations for Ancelotti at the Blues. What is it we as supporters will be expecting from him to say his tenure is successful, and on the flip side, what is the worst that could happen.
Best case scenario this is finally the new era at Everton we thought we were getting when Farhad Moshiri first showed up. They spend heavily to get player talent that matches the managerial prestige and the club is basically a shoo-in for European competition every year.
Worst case is insufficient investment and basically a slightly better version of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle. Hiring a man-manager like Ancelotti without giving him stars to manage wasted everyone’s time.
Best case: Stabilises the club and gets the best out of Moise Kean this season. Adds to the squad further in the summer and we find some consistency to challenge for the top six next season.
Worst case: Doesn’t really get the club, Ronald Koeman 2.0. The football is unforgettable and within two years the results tail off, leaving Everton disillusioned and the club with yet another expensive sacking to deal with.
Best case scenario - Ancelotti’s arrival sparks an immediate uplift in results, with his measured tactical nous and assistant Duncan Ferguson’s unbridled passion proving to be the perfect combination. The club’s profile is also raised as a result, allowing the Toffees to bring in quality players in January to strengthen key areas (namely the centre of defence and upfront).
In this condensed Premier League there is no reason why Everton cannot lift themselves back into contention for a European place this season. Even if they miss out on Europe this time around, Ancelotti (who is the ‘Hollywood’ manager Farhad Moshiri always wanted) is significantly backed in the summer transfer window to help fuel a sustained top six challenge next campaign and, hey, maybe even a cup. After leading the club into the Bramley Moore Stadium, Ancelotti hands over the reins to a top, young coach ready to build on the solid platform built by the Italian.
Worst case scenario - After spending most of his career working with the world’s best players, Ancelotti looks on in horror when he realises what he has to work with at Goodison. The problems that have afflicted the team over the past few seasons do not magically disappear under the Italian’s stewardship as the Toffees limp to a lower mid-table finish. Farhad Moshiri’s response is to throw money at the problem, but Everton’s squad is already bloated and ill-balanced, with this next wave of recruits muddying the waters still further.
If anyone expects more than 8th-ish this year they are going to be disappointed. And honestly this squad doesn’t have the talent to do much better than that unless everyone else in the EPL drops off. As Evertonians we tend to overinflate the quality of our squad and right now we may have 2-3 players that would even make a Champions League squad and I don’t know that any would start. Digne and maybe some combination of Gomes, Richarlison, and Pickford.
My biggest worry about Ancelotti isn’t his work on match day. The real worry is how the transfer window is going to play out. Yes, Moshiri has supposedly promised a lot of cash. That isn’t exactly new for Everton. The club has been a spending a good bit in recent years and not having to sell as much to spend. But who is going to get final say on the overall transfer strategy? And more importantly what happens when an agent calls up Moshiri and engineers a transfer that Brands nor Ancelotti want?
Everton’s problem ever since David Moyes left has been a lack of a cohesive squad. It came to a head under Koeman and it still plagues Everton. The biggest thing Ancelotti can do is work with Brands to develop some sort of plan to improve a slow and aging squad that can play together. The nice thing about Ancelotti is that he can manage a team, so we don’t have to worry about completely abject performances every week.
The Best Case Scenario - Everton grow to a club that competes for a top four position and finds themselves in a couple of cup finals (League Cup, FA Cup) and winning one. We see the calibre of players Everton brings in grow because of the manager and we become a consistent competitor in European football, Europa League or Champions League. It is hard to see anything higher than that due to the current state of Everton and the state of the other clubs above them.
The Worst Case Scenario - Ancelotti proves he isn’t up for the challenge of rebuilding this club, we bring in players that don’t fit and spend way too much money on them. The wage bill increases and the expenses get high along with the coming of the new stadium and we don’t finish anywhere higher than 10th with the club being stagnant and looking for another manager in 18 months because we haven’t gone anywhere.
Best case - Ancelotti leads Everton into the Champions League and ends our embarrassingly long trophy drought. The club is hopefully a more attractive proposition because of his presence, and the squad he inherits is revitalised, and the one he builds is sustainable
Worst case - We have a rehash of the Ronald Koeman era, where an overpaid manager doesn’t look particularly bothered about rescuing Everton from the plight he has led them to by his second season. And the pair of Richarlison and Lucas Digne leave in the summer without proper replacement, with Brands and Ancelotti constantly at odds with each other.
Ancelotti will without a doubt be the biggest managerial signing the club has ever seen. While Everton haven’t had the best success over the past several years, appointing Ancelotti to the job shows that the club is ready to get back on track and Ancelotti knows he’s coming into a club that needs a bit of direction.
I’m pretty hopeful that Ancelotti will help turn things around quickly and push us into a top seven spot by the end of the season. We simply have too much talent to not be in the top half of the table. I think Ancelotti will find the best in our players and with a motivated Duncan Ferguson by his side, I’m expecting a powerful duo.
Ancelotti will certainly bring the club back into the light that’s been missing for quite some time. He clearly has the accolades, so now we’ll see if he’ll be able to bring it to a club that hasn’t had as much luck recently.
While I don’t expect Ancelotti to make the club start playing brilliantly in his first month in charge, I do believe he’ll help us finish this otherwise rocky season in a good position and take the club in full stride in his first full season in charge.
Best case: Everton finally become an established top six side, regularly competing in Europe and in contention for most Cup tournaments they play. Heck, Ancelotti leads us to a trophy (or three) in his time here while working with Marcel Brands in establishing rank and order in the squad from the senior side all the way down to the youth sides.
When he finally decides to call it quits, he looks back at his greatest achievement in his coaching career, where he’s returned a former great club to the highest echelons of the game once again as they get ready to move into a world-class, state-of-the-art stadium with performances to match.
Worst case: Again, like many other have noted, he simply fails to get his finger on the pulse of the club, alienates himself from the Board and the supporters, and loses the dressing room. Eventually after a couple of seasons of midtable finishes Ancelotti decides to retire from the game, a disillusioned man who has lost his passion for the game.