Ancelotti: Europe the target for surging Everton
Everton have quietly had quite the resurgence since Carlo Ancelotti has taken charge and the surging Toffees are now pushing hard to qualify for Europe.
Ancelotti was a happy man after Everton beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday as the trio of Richarlison, Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin caused Palace’s defense problems all game long.
Everton have now won five of Ancelotti’s first eight games in charge and they’ve lost just once in 11 Premier League games since Marco Silva was fired in December as they’ve climbed to seventh and are within one point of fifth place.
Is qualifying for the Europa League now their main aim?
“This is the target, since I arrived the team did a fantastic job, now we have a possibility to think about Europa League,” Ancelotti told BT Sport.
“In the 30 days since I arrived here I have to be happy. The players and staff did a fantastic job but the Europa League has to be the target. When I arrived the spirit was good and after that we have quality in the squad. At this moment everything is OK but this is football and sometimes it is unpredictable,” Ancelotti told the BBC.
There are still some issues for Ancelotti to work on and although he has tightened things up defensively, which began under caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, Everton are still making plenty of individual errors at the back.
Jordan Pickford’s horrendous mistake allowed Christian Benteke to make it 1-1 and although he made up for that error with a fine save moments later, there were still some stray passes and lapses in concentration which will concern Ancelotti, just as it did after they coughed up two late goals to somehow draw 2-2 against Newcastle in their previous home match.
That said, at the other end of the pitch Everton’s attacking unit is looking razor sharp as Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have struck up a strong partnership in recent months and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard and Theo Walcott are all contributing on a regular basis.
Everton’s schedule isn’t the easiest in the next month as they play Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool in their next four games but they have momentum and as long as they can keep it tight at the back their attacking players have the quality to hurt opposition teams.
After everything that has happened to Everton this season, Ancelotti’s calm demeanor has spread throughout the team and there is an air of growing confidence about their chances of reaching Europe once again.
Carlo, Fantastico. Carlo, Magnifico. Indeed.