Carlo Ancelotti joined Everton as they are a club that mix tradition with ambition, the Italian manager explained in his first press conference as Toffees boss.
Ancelotti, the former Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich coach, joined Everton over the weekend to succeed Marco Silva, who was sacked last month with the club in a relegation battle.
He is back in England for the second time after his two-year spell with Chelsea between 2009-11, and it has been considered quite a coup for Everton to have hired a manager of Ancelotti’s pedigree.
But why did he opt to take the Goodison Park job, just days after being dismissed by Napoli?
“The ambition of the club, the history that this club has,” Ancelotti said as he met the press for the first time. “The tradition. The atmosphere of the supporters…
“Also the fact this club wants to improve; we want to be a better team and we want to compete These were the reasons I decided to come here.
“The attraction is the tradition and history of the club. It is true that I manage a top team when I was at PSG; the project was really good there and that attracted me so the ambition of the club.
“I think that is the same here. It is not true that I only manage top teams – sometimes in Italy I mange championship teams. I like teams that have ambition and have a clear idea of how to reach success.
“I went to the training ground yesterday – it is a fantastic training ground and the fact the club want to build a new stadium shows ambition.
“This is what attracted me.
“Ancelotti was in the stands as Everton played out a 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday in the final game of Duncan Ferguson’s reign as caretaker manager.
The Italian veteran officially begins work today – ahead of the Boxing Day visit of Burnley – and he is excited to get going.
“They were really kind, the owner, the chairman, all the supporters,” added Ancelotti. “It was a really good day for me. I saw the team, I have my idea of this team and squad.
“Today I start to work with a lot of commitment. I am really excited. I want to try my best to help the team to be better and to help the club to be competitive and to give happiness to supporters.
“There is a lot of time that this club didn’t win; it takes time, it will not be overnight but we have to be patient. With a clear idea and focus, I am sure we are going to improve.”
Ancelotti also discussed other topics during his first press conference as Everton manager, and you can read the best bits, below…
On Everton’s current squad
“I think the team is good, we have experience players and young players; it is a good mix I think. We can improve but the first thing is that we have in this period really important games, after that we can talk with Marcel [Brands, director of football] about how we can improve this game.
“The most important thing now is the result and after that we can talk about everything.”
On Everton’s ambition
“The club wants to be competitive in the Premier League, for me this is enough. We have to improve the right way. The fact the club wants to build a new stadium, I know that today is a very important day. That means the ambition of the club is very high.”
On Zlatan Ibrahimovic
“He is a good friend of mine. I have trained a lot of fantastic players. I know he finishes his period in the United States, but I don’t know what his idea is.
“I have to call him, maybe I call him. If he wants to come to Liverpool to enjoy he can come – but not to play!”
On Moise Kean
“Moise Kean did really well last year. When I was at Napoli I tried to sign him. He signed for Everton.
“He has a lot of talent. We have to consider that he is 19 years old and every player who changed country or team needs time for adaptation. We have to work on him to improve his quality.”
The Ten Game of Christmas on talkSPORT
talkSPORT will be covering all nine Premier League Boxing Day games exclusively for the first time ever, with a further game on December 27. Find out what the matches are and where you can hear them, below…
- Tottenham vs Brighton (Thursday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Bournemouth vs Arsenal (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Aston Villa vs Norwich (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Chelsea vs Southampton (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Crystal Palace vs West Ham (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Everton vs Burnley (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Sheffield United vs Watford (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Manchester United vs Newcastle (Thursday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Leicester vs Liverpool (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Wolves vs Man City (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
On playing style
“We want to try and play attractive football. I see how the supporters drive the team forward, this is good. I will like to try and play attractive football.
“The long-term objective is to be competitive in the Premier League – there are a lot of fantastic teams here.
“We want to be ambitious, this is the goal and of course to be competitive – also in Europe could be good.”
On his record vs Liverpool
“The Evertonians know my score against Liverpool – I think they will be happy for this. We [Napoli] beat Liverpool this season, they are a big rival but this is a good motivation for us.”
“It [beating Liverpool] feels good! They are not used to losing. It was a good day for me.
“I know how Everton supporters are when they beat Liverpool – we don’t have to wait long, we have the game on 5 January.
“Nothing is impossible in football.”
On his ‘dream’
“I am really passionate on my job. My dream is to bring Everton in the top positions in the Premier League as soon as possible.”
On Duncan Ferguson
“Duncan will be on my staff and my assistant. This is important – Duncan knows really well the characteristics of the player, the atmosphere at the training ground. It will be really helpful for me.”