In October 2015 the premier league was introduced to the tactical genius of Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp. The next 6 years has seen Liverpool sweep all before them with their thrilling heavy metal gegen pressing football relentlessly accumulating trophies and records with only the all-conquering Pep Guardiola challenging the German.
Following the success of Klopp who took Liverpool from 8th to champions of Europe champions Merseyside rivals have attempted to recreate such success. The man they turn to was 3-time champions league winner Carlo Ancelotti. Yet is he the man to take Everton to the top?
Jurgen Klopp’s first XI upon joining Liverpool was comparatively poor to the current Everton XI. Unlike Klopp, Ancelotti has the advantage of adopting an incredibly talented although incredibly balanced side. Following the 2020 summer transfer window, however, the Italian was able to draw high profile talents from across Europe.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan added much-needed dynamism to a lacklustre midfield who consistently could not compete with the physicality of the Premier League and the pearl in the Jewel, two-time champions Galactico James Rodriguez who added much-needed guile. This is in combination with the significant improvement in the players who were already at the club.
The standout most noticeably being Dominic Calvert Lewin who has developed into an all-round striker combining his dominant frame with his predatory goal-scoring instincts. Midfielders Tom Davis and Gyfli Sigurdson have been reinvigorated and Ben Godfrey has begun to show remnants of a class defender.
Ancelotti is a lot further ahead of Liverpool’s development in terms of squad quality and it is of no surprise that the Toffees are already competing for a European place. Everton’s upwards trajectory has come in line with Arsenal amid a major rebuilding job and Jose wasting Spurs abundance of talent which suggest that we may see Everton in Europe very soon.
Essential to Liverpool success was the excellent Michel Edwards and the Fenway group. Liverpool had glaring holes in their team and the excellent transfer business conducted by the Liverpool hierarchy was quite simply amazing. Signings such as Allison. Roberston, Salah and Mane were strokes of genius yet none stand out more than the acquisition of Dutch Centre back Virgil Van Dyke.
These signings turned Liverpool from a Europa league team to a record-breaking team who amassed over 90 points consecutively in the League. If Everton is ever going to reach the heights of their local rivals, owner Moshri and Ancelotti will have to make extremely good signings. Their 2020 summer was good yet the age profile of these players was not particularly great and in 2021 Everton must take initiative in the transfer market.
Seamus Colemen has been an amazing servant to Everton but their right-back positions lack the quality to dominate the right flank similar to Cancelo and Alexender Arnold. Although Everton’s recruitment in the midfield was good if Ancelotti wishes to challenge for silverware he will need players capable of controlling the tempo of the game rather then the slightly more combative approach applied at Goodison Park.
Calvin Lewin has been a revelation this season yet his workload is simply too much for the young Englishman. Joshua King is not enough and another signing in the centre forward role or someone to deputise Richarlison is essential if Everton are to take the next step. Ancelotti needs to be backed.
Is the Italian actually the right man? League titles in France, England, Germany and Spain, 3 champions leagues and countless domestic cups. This man has won it all. Yet these were all with some of the greatest clubs in their respective league history which saw Carlo simply arrive and get player playing to their ability.
Many of these players were already gifted an Ancelotti has an excellent ability to bring a dressing room of egos and create unity yet his time at Napoli highlighted a fatal flaw. The former Ac Milan manager is not particularly good at raising the ceiling of his team, unlike Klopp who turned Borruisa Dortmund and Liverpool into championship-winning teams in a league with an established dominant team.
It raises the question, can Ancelotti turn these good Everton players into world-beaters? DCL is the one player who has significantly improved which should give fans hope that if he gets his hands on some young talent they may blossom. Yet the stagnation of the development of Richarlison suggests maybe the Italian is not quite the man to take them to the top.