Brighton and Hove Albion will face an Everton team on a high this Saturday at Goodison Park thanks to the recent appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian has won two of his four games in charge and has helped rejuvenate the Toffees after a sticky spell under Marco Silva.
Ancelotti is a man who needs little introducing.
The manager has worked at Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Napoli to name a few and during his exceptional career has won three Champions Leagues, four domestic league trophies, seven domestic cups, and 20 trophies overall.
Ancelotti has been praised in the past for his versatility in choosing formations and the personal relationships he builds with his players.
The Italian is known to be fond of playing two up front and this has been evident in his start at Everton with Dominic Calvert-Lewin featuring alongside either Richarlison or Moise Kean in three of the manager’s four games in charge.
Life at Goodison Park has begun relatively well for Ancelloti as he won his first two games in charge 1-0 at home to Burnley and 2-1 away at Newcastle.
His first defeat came in a 2-1 loss away against current champions Manchester City but the club’s most recent loss against Liverpool in the FA Cup has drawn the most criticism.
An almost full-strength Everton side lost 1-0 at Anfield against a youthful Liverpool team with seven players featuring under the age of 23.
Following the game Ancelotti said he spoke to his players about what they must do to find a solution and labelled their second-half performance ‘not good enough.’
Throughout Ancelotti’s 25-year managerial career his focus has been to sustain European and domestic success which he achieved winning a plethora of silverware.
Everton is a new challenge for Ancelloti as his new role is to help revitalise an underperforming Everton-side with the long term aim of breaking into the top-6.
He had a similar objective at Napoli as the side looked to threaten Juventus’ recent dominance in Italy.
He somewhat achieved this with Napoli finishing second in his first season but the club were still 11-points behind Juventus.
Ancelloti eventually ended up getting sacked last month after a 4-0 win against Belgian-side Genk as Napoli secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Some saw Ancelloti’s sacking as harsh but Everton fans won’t be complaining as they have appointed arguably one of the greatest managers in world football.
The Italian is no stranger to praise with Chelsea manager Frank Lampard complimenting his former manager following Ancelotti’s dismissal at Napoli.
Lampard said: “I have huge respect for him...I think he can work anywhere in the world at the top level.”
Pep Guardiola is another Premier League manager who also admires the Italian. He said: “Carlo is one of the smartest guys. He is always able, it doesn’t matter the team, to make them work. I think it is incredible news for English football (that) he is back and I think he can make an incredible job there.”
Bringing in the Italian as manager has shown real ambition from the Toffees and after years of investment it looks as if their dream of consistent European football may be on the horizon.
Brighton can expect organised, direct football from Everton on Saturday but the team comes alive in the final third. This has been Ancelloti’s philosophy for many years and it has been evident in Everton’s start under him.
Calvert-Lewin is a player who will be on Brighton’s radar going into the game as the striker has scored three goals in his four games under Ancelotti. The striker also scored at the Amex back in October so Graham Potter and his side already know the damage he can cause.
Calvert-Lewin has also praised Ancelotti since his arrival telling Match of the Day: “He has a presence about him. That is just from the man he is and what he has done in football. To be working with him on a daily basis is a privilege.”
Brighton could jump up to tenth on Saturday if results go their way and Potter will be focused on getting back-to-back wins against the Toffees whereas Ancelloti will be looking to get his team back to winning ways.