Everton’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa has left Toffees fans wondering where the club is going from here, with some starting to point fingers at Carlo Ancelotti.
While still in the race for European football, a win in eight league games (Everton is 16th in the Premier League table) doesn’t inspire confidence as we move towards the final five matches.
Even more worrying is Everton’s form at Goodison Park, with the Blues having just five wins in 17 games at their historic home.
After another disappointing home result on Saturday, fans are now starting to wonder who is to blame.
What is Ancelotti’s share of responsibility?
Everton fan Matt Jones started a debate on Saturday night, suggesting Ancelotti doesn’t know how to put together “ a winning team that plays on the front foot. ”
Seen for months now… the manager just doesn’t know how to put together a winning team that plays on the front foot.
Some of the performances at home this season are among the worst in recent years. #EFC
– Matt Jones (@MattJFootball) May 1, 2021
It sort of started a discussion among Everton fans, with some agreeing with Jones and others saying Ancelotti didn’t have the players to be successful.
So, who is right? Let’s take a closer look.
At home this season, Everton’s most disappointing results have been against Aston Villa, Burnley, Fulham and Newcastle United.
In all of these games, Everton were seen as the favorites and failed to create enough chances to threaten the opposition.
That’s while owning a team that should just perform better against that level of opponent.
It’s true that Everton has an off-balance side, with a lack of options on the right creating a setup that is easy to defend against a setup.
You can also cite a mentality problem, which prevailed at Everton before Ancelotti’s arrival.
He does not have the players’ companion. The priority is energy and quality legs in summer
– Blue stone (@ pete316) May 1, 2021
Everton have also suffered from several individual errors this season, with Mason Holgate against Villa being just the latest error.
These are all very valid points and indicate that Ancelotti should not bear all the blame.
However, he shouldn’t be free from criticism due to his legendary status as one of the best managers in football history.
While playing a counter-attacking style of football is beneficial against top teams, this setup is much less effective against teams trying to frustrate Everton.
Everton’s form against the big clubs against the current last six is proof of that.
The Toffees have lost just two of their 11 games to the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, down from five losses to the last six.
How is it that he knew how to do it at Chelsea? This side played incredible football. Could it be that he has better players at his disposal? Just a thought. Difficult to play foot front foot when we had to rely on Sigurdsson, Iwobi and more filth for 18 months
– Roger Mottram (@rogerefc) May 2, 2021
Everton also arguably produced their best offensive performances in a 4-3-3 formation, something Ancelotti has avoided since the 2-0 win over Leicester City last December.
This is in part due to multiple injuries, but with the options now available, Ancelotti has always favored a more solid formation defensively that limits them offensively.
Whether it was a case of Ancelotti not being able to trust his defense in a more offensive formation or not, it was detrimental to Everton’s offense.
He is at fault for today, just as much as the players. Are you starting Holgate on Mina? Delph coming to Davies? King after conceding again, why not before? Sigurdsson in left midfielder? What does he even do? He is one of the highest paid managers in the league. Terrible.
– Wes (@ WDR573) May 1, 2021
There were clearly gut reactions from Everton fans after Villa’s loss, and that’s understandable.
Patience is needed with Ancelotti, who basically works with one hand tied behind his back due to some team limitations.
However, the Italian is not free from criticism, and fans are right to wonder why poor performances against so-called “lesser opposition” are so common.
Ancelotti must show why he is one of the highest paid managers in the Premier League and improve the squad he already has to ensure Everton can still secure Europa League football for next season.
From there, Ancelotti will likely have the chance to build his own squad. Maybe then we’ll see if the Italian can bring the glory days back to Goodison Park.
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