Carlo Ancelotti cites trust of his players as key factor behind Everton progress
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes having the complete trust of his players is a key factor in their success this season.
The three-time Champions League winner enhanced his already huge reputation with his squad and fans alike by masterminding the club’s first Merseyside derby win at Anfield in 22 years last weekend.
His tactics have seen the Toffees become more resilient in defence while players like new signing Ben Godfrey and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career with 18 goals, have flourished under his leadership.
“For a manager having the trust of the players is really important,” said the experienced Italian, who has been in charge for just over 14 months and has taken the Toffees from mid-table to challenging for a top-four place.
“It is also really important to have the trust of the club. If you don’t have this it is difficult to do your job the best.
“The best way is to have trust: a player has to have trust in you and you have to have trust in players.
“At this moment we have a good relationship and I hope it will continue.”
Ancelotti’s methods appear to be working despite his unusual approach in occasionally resting first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The England number one has had a number of moments when he has been at fault for goals but he retains his manager’s faith and repaid that with his performance against Liverpool, having been left out for Robin Olsen the previous weekend.
“He did really well and that’s what he is able to do. I think it helps that we rotate,” added Ancelotti.
“It’s true, the fact that Olsen is there can help him to make him more motivated and focused.
“I’m going to continue rotating the goalkeepers until the end of this season.”
There seems to be less of a rotation policy up front where Calvert-Lewin, when he is fit, seems likely to play almost every match even though last week Richarlison scored in back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time in a year when he was the central striker in the England international’s absence.
The Brazil forward has four goals in as many matches, having scored just six in his previous 21, and Ancelotti believes the 23-year-old has overcome some early-season difficulties.
“He is a better player than he was in the first part of the season. Why? Because now he is working with consistency and is focused,” said the Toffees boss ahead of Monday’s visit of Southampton.
“At the start of this season he was suspended for three games, against Liverpool (when he was sent off in October) he wasn’t fit physically because of travelling a lot for the international games.
“Now, he is back and can easily reach more than 10 goals in the season. Richarlison is a top talent, that’s it.”
Deadline-day signing Josh King’s Everton career has yet to take off as he has been limited to just 67 minutes over four substitute appearances since his move from Bournemouth for a nominal fee.
However, Ancelotti is confident the Norway international is edging closer to making his first start.
“King is not far away and he plays a part in games,” he said.
“It’s important for him to stay fit, his condition is good and he is working and adapting really well. He will find a place in the first XI in some games.”