Carlo Ancelotti Says Everton Goal Is 'To Reach the Champions League'

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Everton is seen in the stands prior to  the Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park on December 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti wants to make Everton a UEFA Champions League club. The Italian has lifted the famous trophy three times during his illustrious managerial career, and he's already outlined his desire to take the Toffees to a similar level.

Ancelotti told Evertontv (h/t FourFourTwo): "The goal is there to reach the Champions League or Europa League. Winning honours has to be the dream for this club and for the supporters. I am here to try to do this. Our goal is to be competitive in the Premier League, to be towards the top of the table, to be competitive in Europe."

While Ancelotti urged caution about how long it will take to realise his aim, getting Everton into Europe is still a lofty ambition. The scale of the job in front of him is summed up by the Merseyside club sitting 15th in the Premier League and just four points above the bottom three.

Ancelotti got a first-hand look at how much work needs to be done when he sat in the stands for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Goodison Park. The 60-year-old had only been officially appointed mere hours before kick-off:

Everton @Everton

🔵 | Introducing the new manager of Everton Football Club, @MrAncelotti! #WelcomeMrAncelotti https://t.co/zNNoix8H5R

Securing Ancelotti's services on a four-and-a-half-year contract is more than a coup for Everton. It's a statement of intent from majority stakeholder Farhad Moshiri about his determination to get the club back up to heights not experienced since the 1980s.

Ancelotti's track record shows he's the right man for the job. Aside from winning a hat-trick of Champions League trophies during spells with AC Milan and Real Madrid, he also won a league and FA Cup double with Chelsea in 2010.

League crowns with Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also part of a CV most managers can only dream of boasting, despite his dismissal from Napoli earlier this month:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Everton got themselves a serial winner 🏆👏 https://t.co/0wDRrPyHt5

One doubt about how Ancelotti will transfer his skills to Everton concerns his ability to build a winning team. He's often had the luxury of inheriting elite-level players, including Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben, during his career.

However, Ancelotti has also shown a shrewd eye for hidden talent and how to deploy it. He changed Pirlo's role from an attacking midfielder to a deep-lying playmaker with the Rossoneri and also acquired a young Marco Verratti for PSG.

There is quality to work with in the Everton ranks, particularly in the form of creators Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard. How Ancelotti can fit them into the same formation will be key to his success.

He'll also need to get more from misfiring striker Moise Kean, a disappointment since his arrival for an initial £29 million from Juventus this summer.

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Moise Kean averaged a goal every 89 minutes in Serie A last season. His Everton career should really begin under Ancelotti. 🤞 https://t.co/P3BP9tNYhs

If Ancelotti can motivate key players to consistently perform, Everton will soon become a threat to the European places. The process needs to begin quickly, with a daunting run of fixtures facing the new Toffees boss:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Mikel Arteta's first 5 games in charge of Arsenal: Bournemouth (A) Chelsea (H) Man Utd (H) Leeds (H) Crystal Palace (A) Carlo Ancelotti's first 5 games in charge of Everton: Burnley (H) Newcastle (A) Man City (A) Liverpool (A) Brighton (H) https://t.co/Hg4gmZU1iQ

Games against Manchester City and local rivals, league leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool will show Ancelotti the standards he needs to meet. Meanwhile, success in the FA Cup also represents a path to Europe for a man with a rich pedigree in tournament football.

Ancelotti's history gives Everton fans reason to believe the club may soon return to the Champions League for the first time since 2005.