It’ll be an odd thing to see Carlo Ancelotti managing Everton at Anfield on Sunday. Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals have been through a largely mediocre decade and, while matches between the two teams have been split every which way over the years, the Blues have been falling in stature considerably.
Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton from his post-Napoli lounge-about is an entirely unexpected move, both for him and for the Everton owners. It’s clearly a signal of intent from the club to climb the Premier League table and compete for silverware. And, whether or not the manager is backed in the market or not, the team Ancelotti inherited will get better over the coming weeks as he installs his methodology.
There was a time when it was possible the Italian could have been introducing some similar methods at Melwood. Ancelotti spoke with FSG in 2016 about becoming the manager of Liverpool, just as they did Jürgen Klopp, when Brenden Rodgers was being dismissed.
“I had a chat, after Real Madrid, with the owners. They were looking for a new manager but I think they made the right choice with Jürgen.
“Jürgen is doing fantastic work in Liverpool. Well done.”
The FA Cup, while almost interesting, isn’t the big priority for Klopp after all the going and going the team have been doing for the last month. The manager is expected to include some fresh faces in his squad, and perhaps the starting XI, which could make it a tough test for the squad.
Everton will be more than up for it. Each of Ancelotti’s players will be playing to prove to their new manager that they’re important to the team and can make a difference in a big game.
But even Carlo knows it will be a difficult evening for his squad, to go to Anfield and wrestle anything away from Liverpool.
“Usually there is a big rivalry when you have two teams in the same city, it was the same in Milan and Rome when I was there and I know how the supporters are excited to beat their rival,” Ancelotti said.
“I know how Evertonians would like this and we have the same dream, to beat Liverpool at Anfield. It is a dream for us and and an opportunity so we will try.”
A dream, indeed.