Davide Ancelotti emerges as surprise alternative for Everton

VALLADOLID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 30: Davide Ancelotti, Assistant Coach of Real Madrid gives instructions during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on December 30, 2022 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
VALLADOLID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 30: Davide Ancelotti, Assistant Coach of Real Madrid gives instructions during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on December 30, 2022 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

In an unexpected twist to the saga of who will replace Frank Lampard as Everton manager, former Blues’ assistant Davide Ancelotti is apparently now on the club’s radar.

Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa have emerged over the past few days as the two front-runners to take the Everton manager’s job.

Both men have been talking to the club and are due for more ongoing discussions, with Bielsa for example, having arrived in London this evening for further talks.

There will be both supporters and detractors for both individuals and it doesn’t seem as though we are much nearer knowing who will take over from Lampard.

Time is ticking on though and the Blues’ need to get this sorted as soon as possible with only days reamaining in the transfer window for the new boss, whoever he is, to get some fresh faces in.

Well, now it seems as though another potential candidate is seriously in the running with several reports stating that Davide Ancelotti is considering a return to Merseyside.

This is a very interesting development for a number of reasons.

Both Dyche and Bielsa are in many ways predictable choices to take the job. They are very different characters and coaches for sure, but they represent the tried and tested alternatives.

Each of them has his strengths for sure and both have maanged in the Premier League and the Championship. So they certainly tick a lot of boxes.

They are exerienced and available so wouldn’t cost anything in terms of severance packages with current employers, which given Everton’s financial plight is not an inconsiderable issue.

However, despite their backgrounds and qualities, neither is a guarantee of survival. Indeed, looking at where the Blues’ are currently, no one of course is.

If you look at recent past choices of manager chosen by the Toffees’ hierachy all of them have had Premier League experience and many were relatively ‘big name’ coaches, especially Carlo Ancelotti.

He was pretty much the biggest name you could ever imagine taking the Everton job.

I remember that December day in 2019 when he turned up at Goodison Park, for a game against Arsenal and their new manager Mikel Arteta.

Few of the home supporters would have aswapped managers thayt day but since then the trajectory of the two clubs has gone in opposite directions. And ironically, they are to be the same opponents the latest Blues’ boss will face in his first game.

It was hard to believe that such a decorated and successful coach was in charge of our club. It didn’t last, but for a while we all dreamed of what might be possible.

One man he brought with him was his son Davide. The younger Ancelotti was installed as first-team coach and quickly got to grips with his new envoronement.

Davide is a highly regarded young coach and has cut his teeth all around Europe at some of the biggest clubs in the game.

His has again been at one of those clubs, Real Madrid, since his father abruptly left the Toffees’ to return there in the summer of 2021.

They have won trophies too once more, most enjoyably for Evertonians beating Liverpool in last season’s Champions League final.

That game was an Ancelotti senior masterclass and reminded me a little of how he had overseen Everton’s first win at Anfield in more than twenty years during the 2020-21 campaign.

So, in terms of experience you could hardly ask for a coach who hasn’t managed yet, to have a more impressive CV than his.

Yesterday I wrote that I think the Toffees’ need to consider being more brave and adventurous in their choice of new manager and to think outside the proverbial box a little bit.

If indeed there is something substantial to this rumour I think the Blues’ should consider it. It would certainly represent a gamble but could it be the right one?

Davide knows the club, many of the players, hopefully understands the supporters and of course lived in the area.

And, I would hope that he will have picked up a lot of techniques and skills from his father over the years which might well be of considerable value. He couldn’t have been learning from a more successful manager.

It’s clear that a radical overhaul of this team isn’t going to be possible, particularly because of the lack of time and money to sign new players and the inadequacies of the current squad. You would need a summer and millions to even begin that process.

This is perhaps why Bielsa is reluctant to take the job, as reports claimed was the case yesterday.

And this set of players needs a good coach to look at those little things rather than a manager who might not be as focused on them.

A key to reviving this team might well be how can you find that extra five or ten percent from certain underperforming players that could get you over the line in a critical moment or match.

And while I think Dyche could well quickly adapt the current side and get more out of it, enough perhaps to avoid the drop, as I mentioned, would he ultimately always be seen as a stop-gap solution?

Bringing in someone with no managerial experience like Davide Ancelotti would certainly be a big risk to take. But, if it worked Everton might well have one of the best and brightest young coaches in the game at the helm.

With substantial new investment supposedly coming into the club, could he then have the tools to finally begin to fulfill the frustrated expectations of this fanbase?