Carlo Ancelotti was highly critical of his Everton side after they delivered an abject performance in a 3-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Blues were outclassed at Molineux from start to finish, and though the Italian has rarely sought opportunities to dig out his players since arriving in December, he was far more scathing after this latest debacle.
Speaking after Sunday’s loss, Ancelotti said:
“It was a really frustrating day and performance. There are some excuses but I don’t want to have excuses; the performance was not acceptable. The spirit of the team was unacceptable.
“I spoke to the players and we have to prepare and work differently and have a different attitude.”
Ancelotti stopped short of singling out individual players, though in truth it was difficult to name any Everton player significantly better or worse than their team-mates.
Though the manager admitted he does not know what has happened since the Blues drew with Liverpool before consecutive wins over Norwich and Leicester in their first three games after the Premier League’s restart.
Everton have since lost at Spurs and today Wolves, with a disappointing home draw with Southampton on Thursday sandwiched in-between.
“I don’t want to talk individually about every single player. I said to them this attitude is not acceptable for me and we have to change immediately. I want to see a different spirit.
“If I have to be honest, in some games the spirit was really good. Liverpool, Norwich, Leicester. It’s difficult to accept for this reason because this team has a fighting spirit.”
Everton captain Seamus Coleman, a first-half substitute for the injured Yerry Mina, was similarly brutal in his assessment of his team’s performance.
In his own post-match interview, the Irishman described Everton’s showing as ‘shocking’ and ‘really, really bad’, adding:
“[There are] no hiding places; they were better all over the pitch. We need to ask serious questions of ourselves.
“We can all play badly, misplace passes and crosses, but the attitude and desire weren’t there and we got beat by the better team.
“We need to have a good, hard look at ourselves. Maybe we’re not where we think we are. As individuals and as a club, we need to be expecting better. That won’t be good enough for this manager and it’s certainly not good enough for this football club.”
Everton sit 11th with three games left of the 2019-20 Premier League season.
The Blues will look to bounce back from defeat at Wolves when relegation-threatened Aston Villa visit Goodison Park on Sunday, followed by a trip to Sheffield United on July 20, before rounding off the season at home to Bournemouth on July 26.