Ancelotti Makes Everton Pledge For Villa Clash

Carlo Ancelotti is promising a very different Everton from the one beaten by Aston Villa last week when his team seeks to avenge that defeat on Thursday.

Everton would climb to sixth in the Premier League table with victory at Villa Park following an 11th away win of the season against West Ham United on Sunday.

Farhad Moshiri was in the capital for that game and, speaking to the media on Wednesday, Ancelotti disclosed his gratitude for the enduring backing and support of the Club’s majority shareholder.

If he's to report back to his boss on a win in the Midlands, Ancelotti concedes every aspect of the performance against the same opponents 11 days ago needs a substantial upgrade.  

And he is confident a group of players “strongly motivated” to play European football next season will deliver on that demand.

“We have to play differently, it was one of the worst performances of the season, and we are going to play differently,” said Ancelotti.

“I counted 10 easy mistakes in the first 10 minutes, easy passes wrong, we lost duels, we were not in position.

“That is not going to happen tomorrow, for sure.

“The team has strong motivation for Europe, most of them didn’t play in European competition and they have a desire to be in the competition next season.

“It is a fantastic motivation for every one of them.

“The last game [West Ham victory] was good, it was unpredictable against Aston Villa, it was at home and an important game.

“We will play differently tomorrow, no doubt.

“The game is vital, as was the game against West Ham, we know this and, hopefully, the team can repeat the performance from Sunday.”

Everton would equal the 12 away matches won by Howard Kendall’s swashbuckling 1984/85 champions with three points at Villa.

Five of those victories have come in London, where owner Moshiri is typically able to watch in person.

Ancelotti light-heartedly wondered aloud if Mr Moshiri was a lucky charm following the success at West Ham.

And in his latest pre-match press conference, the Italian expanded on his relationship with the man who recruited him back in December 2019.

“With Mr Moshiri, I have a really good relationship, he is an owner who supports the team and the Club,” said Ancelotti.

“He wants to be informed about the condition of the team and the players.

“We speak on the phone, we didn’t have the possibility to meet during the pandemic.

“But I met him last week in London, it was a good moment, with [Director of Football] Marcel Brands and [Chairman] Bill Kenwright.

“He is always behind us, he wants to know everything about the Club and I keep him informed every day.”

Everton’s victory over West Ham was founded on a compact defensive display – but could have been more comfortable had a handball on the line to prevent Joshua King scoring been spotted.

Integral to a mighty collective effort, was the midfield pairing of Allan and Tom Davies.

A combination of factors has conspired to separate the duo for large parts of the season and the game at London Stadium was only the fourth they’ve started together.

“Allan had a good game, defensively he was really good,” said Ancelotti, who hopes to have James Rodriguez and Yerry Mina back for Sunday’s meeting with Sheffield United after ruling both out of the Villa clash.  

“Tom is always good defensively, he puts a lot of energy and passion in his play.

“He is strong in the tackle… a fantastic support for all the team.

“The next step for Tom is to improve his ability with the ball.

“Without the ball, he is really good.

"I am happy with Joshua King... he played parts in important games and did well.

"He scored a goal and I am really surprised nobody knew this... it was a big mistake."

Ancelotti was talking the day after Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions.

“We have to congratulate Manchester City, the manager and players, they were better than all the others and deserved to win,” said Ancelotti.

“They had a fantastic season, playing really well, with a lot of consistency."