Athletics and Recreation

Everton’s Tactics under Carlo Ancelotti

Everton’s Tactics under Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti took over Everton in December,
leading them to two consecutive wins against Burnley and Newcastle United. Up to and including the game against Crystal
Palace, Everton have won five league games, drawn two, and lost only to Manchester City,
although they did also lose a Merseyside derby in the FA Cup to a very young and inexperienced
Liverpool side. Ancelotti is one of the leading managers in
world football, with significant successes achieved during his time at AC Milan, including
two Champions League titles, as well as league wins with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and
Bayern Munich, and another Champions League win with Real Madrid. He’s known for being a tactical flexible
coach, overcoming a slightly dogmatic adherence to a 4-4-2 developed at Reggiana and then
Parma, and he’s also well-regarded for adapting his tactics to suit his squad and for his
man management skills. Despite this flexibility, Ancelotti still
likes his sides to defend in a 4-4-2 shape. He believes this achieves the greatest degree
of horizontal and vertical compactness, a clear echo of the influential Italian coach
Arrigo Sacchi. Ancelotti also seems to favour a degree of
pressing, especially high. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the more aggressive
presser, while Richarlison tends to sit off slightly to mark the diagonal out-ball from
left-side to right, but he will engage should the ball move across to the opposition right
back. Behind these two, the midfield generally align
as a horizontally compact line of four, with the wingers tucking inside slightly; this
allows the full backs to push up and press should this line be by-passed out wide and
they are, in turn, covered by the centre-backs moving wide or the central midfield dropping
off. It’s also worth noting that one of the two
central midfielders, usually Gylfi Sigurdsson, is also freed up to push forwards to press
centrally should the opposition start to move the ball backwards in anything other than
a very controlled manner. This is a good indication of how Ancelotti
mixes zonal and man-orientated pressing. Should this happen, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin
tend to fan wide to ensure the press is uniform across the pitch. This pressing system has downsides which,
interesting, are echoes of some of the problems Ancelotti had at Napoli too. The aggressiveness of the full backs, and
the 4-4-2 formation, mean that should team bypass the first two lines of the press, Everton
can be caught out. This is especially the case if a centre-back
is pulled wide and the central midfield cannot cover quickly enough. However, it’s an issue that, on balance,
is probably worth accepting given Everton’s increased ability to win back the ball and
transition to attack. In attack, Everton have looked fairly assured
since the Italian took over. In common with a number of other teams, a
central midfielder, usually the more defensive of the two from the central pairing, will
drop off to provide the semblance of a back three. This permits the full backs to push high and
wide and provide crossing opportunities. On the left especially, Bernard will drift
infield to be an option for the dynamic, attacking Lucas Digne to work one-twos and find space. On the right, Theo Walcott will sometimes
do this, but he also likes to go outside while the right-back pushes in – this worked very
well for Everton’s first against Crystal Palace, for example. Walcott’s pace and energy has been a factor
for Everton, as he is able to get back to double up defensively with the right-back,
either Sidibe or Coleman, and then burst forwards to provide an attacking threat. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin appear to be
working well in tandem. Richarlison can loiter behind the aerially
strong Calvert-Lewin, waiting for knock downs or half clearances, but the Brazilian will
also run ahead the English striker, who is happy to drop back and play him in, or look
to shift the ball wide before moving into the box. The Brazilian certainly has a freer role,
but he is not the sort of ‘striker’ who actually drops off and mostly plays as a ten,
nor does he play as an inverted forward who happens to be in a front two rather than a
front three. He is arguably Everton’s most dangerous
player and Ancelotti has found a role for him that accentuates his strengths while also
managing to retain enough structure to ensure he’s part of the defensive set-up. Everton look most dangerous when they can
run at pace against a defence, using the skill and awareness of players like Richarlison,
Bernard, Digne, and Calvert-Lewin to drive at teams. The set-piece threat of Yerry Mina is significant
too, as Watford found to their cost. Everton can construct attacks from deeper,
but they have to work hard to manufacture the little opportunities to get players into
space and use the pace that makes them dangerous. Nonetheless, under Ancelotti, Everton seem
to be a team with a clearer identity and plan than under Marco Silva; the experienced Italian’s
man-management, tactical astuteness, and ability to work out how to get the best from a squad
is paying dividends for the Toffees.

Reader Comments

  1. Tactics would imply Everton have some sort of plan when they go out on a football pitch.

    Which has quite clearly not been the case for about 30 odd years.

  2. A video on Fulham Tactics this year would be interesting.

    They are bottom of the table for 'Goals scored on the Break', with zero…

    Parker ball has been really poor to watch

  3. Neverton are a bland club, they’re literally just the club that’s ‘there’, no one cares about them, wtf is ancelotti wasting his time there for

  4. Marco Silva was a clueless clown who constantly applied a formation that didn’t suit the squad he had. He had no plan B, he was infuriating to watch manage.

    Carlo has already shown his experience, having DCL team up with Richy. Couple of transfer windows and the midfield will be transformed, and Everton will be cooking on gas!

  5. I imagine the players in the video will look outdated soon, if not the tactics. Can’t see Sidibe being here next season, and I think (hope) Gomes will replace our £45m waste of space as a creative option. Can’t be helped right now obviously, and great vid as always.

  6. Sigurdsson and Gomes won't work in that centre midfield pairing. One has to go to make way for a defensive minded midfielder like Delph or Gbamin when he's back.

  7. Let's be frank. Ancelotti is the best manager currently & Only one who can flex according to squad rather than buy a squad which suits him

  8. Can u do a full tactics and playing style of a great football club( i mean how they atack from buliding from back . when oponent teams were man marked all players of team and high presing how will they atack or keep ball for creating danger in oponent penalty box i need a full tactical explained video of a great football club

  9. After many years of supporting Madrid, I was tired of them when they won two ucl in a row. Desperately looking for an underdog team to support for the previous two seasons. Finally when Don Carlo joined Everton, I knew which club I should support from now on. The excitement never fades away when you support a mediocre team.

  10. Ancelotti is one of those managers along with Rafa Benitez, Marcelino and others, who would be at a bigger club except that they play football which is considers unfashionable. Biggest clubs in Europe are not interested in 4-4-2 even if it can be done effectively and you can score a lot of goals.

  11. i like how this channel just focuses on what the title says, every other ancelotti vid on youtube has an undercurrent of "everton shouldn't have him as their manager" i really appreciate that this doesn't.

  12. I'd say that Everton very rarely play well for a full game so far under Ancelotti. I'd put this down to a very poor performing midfield which should get bolstered when Andre Gomes returns (as he is undoubtedly Everton's best midfielder)

    This video also seems to miss out just how instrumental Holgate has been.

  13. 2:33 perfectly explains aubameyang’s first goal at the weekend, he cut behind the full back and somewhat across the face of Mina who came wide, just an observation, great content

  14. interested in Tifo's take on whether or not Gylfi is being wasted in this system – he has gone from being a top goal scoring threat to someone who doesn't seem to have much forward thrust in the new system. Net benefit seems to outweigh this though.

  15. I had a strong feeling that leicester were gonna come big this season when rodgers took over and I’m getting that same feeling with ancelotti and everton.

  16. Only think i´ll add is that Walcott runs in behind, either inside or wide. And that now that André Gomes id back Sigurdsson won´t be playing (finally cause he´s been awful)

  17. Ancelotti has done wonders considering this was the same side that was so poor before he came. Carlo will have money to spend in the summer. I expect a CB, CM, RW and possibly a RB and AM if he's going to use the diamond formation. Once he gets his own players in I'm confident he'll do very well next season

  18. That is just classic Ancelotti. Not much changed since his days at Milan, except maybe the pressing part. He tends to have a rigid 4 man midfield with playmaking coming from there. Whereas most teams nowadays use inside forwards as playmakers. He would do well with a classic 10 like Ozil playing in his midfield.

  19. Aubameyang's goal was the perfect explanation of David Luiz's though ball exposing the whole defense. You literally predicted their failure !

  20. I am viewing the end of this season as 'last chance to impress, time'. I hope and expect some of these players will be gone. We need Europe and I think we are going to push as hard as we can to get there. That said…this squad will not succeed in Europe and new players are needed to strengthen defense and our midfield.
    The acid test of the transfer window during the summer is whether or not we keep Richarlison. Ancelotti is not going to be managing a team that sells the best and buys over the hill players …it is not his style. If Richarlison goes…do not expect Ancelotti to hang around for long. He is way past earning a living at this game and has his money made. This job is to prove something ..We , Everton, are the weakest squad he has managed in a lot of years …He is a winner .He wants to win and he needs to keep the best to do that.
    The selling club/retirement home image must go…or we are wasting our time .
    I have little faith in the board backing him all the way …if they dump on him ,like I expect them too, to be honest….this team can go to fuck….50+ years following this team and all we have to show for the last 25 years is an FA cup … I expect more.

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