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  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2020/03/06/jamie-carragher-meets-carlo-ancelotti-not-one-last-payday-going/ My allegiance to Everton ended over 25 years ago, but there is a moment during an hour with Carlo Ancelotti when the heart of the schoolboy within me beats faster. “Next season we have to qualify for the Champions League,” Ancelotti tells me. “I am here for this.” I pause. I have not heard an Everton manager speak like this since I stood on the Gwladys Street. “Is that really possible given the strength of the competition?” I ask. “I am sure this club has that ambition,” he insists. “The owner wants to be at the top. That is for sure. The idea is clear. I do not know how long it will take, but it will not take long. The spine of the squad is competitive. I do not know what the target will be this season, but next season we have to fight for the top four.” I tell Ancelotti how invigorating it will be for fans to hear a coach of his calibre talk so boldly. “Do you realise how many Evertonians loved seeing you get sent off at the end of the game against Manchester United last week?” I ask. Ancelotti sounds surprised. “You think the fans like it because I got the red card? That is why they clapped me?” “Yes. They want to feel the manager is out there fighting for them,” I reply, sensing an opportunity to ask the most blunt question. “When it was first said Carlo Ancelotti might come to Everton, people said you must only be coming for a final payday.” He laughs. “No, no, no. Fortunately, I do not need the money,” he says. “I see Everton like I saw Napoli. It was fantastic to be in Milan, Madrid and Munich, but sometimes you get the possibility to grow a good project. We have young players with quality – players like Richarlison, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, [Mason] Holgate and [Lucas] Digne. The base of the team is good. Holgate signed a new contract and Dominic is going to. We have a spine and want to improve the squad in the summer.” Ancelotti has spent his decorated career in Europe’s most exotic cities – Rome, Milan, Paris and Madrid. Today, in the office at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground he already calls home, he could be mistaken as a spokesman for Merseyside tourism. He tells me about his midweek trip to the Bootle Strand shopping centre (above), which prompted a surge of disbelieving selfie hunters. “Difficult to park, but full of Evertonians,” he observes. A few miles down the road are the leafy suburbs of Crosby, where he and I are near neighbours. Ancelotti adores Antony Gormley’s iron men scattered along the seafront. “I was at the beach on Monday. It is beautiful. I walked three miles and counted all the statues. There are at least 100,” he says “This part of England is different to London. It is more friendly. London is more cosmopolitan – there are a lot of Italians in London. Usually I stay in the centre of the city but I feel good here, and I have already found a good Italian restaurant.” It feels like Ancelotti has instantly absorbed his club and the city. As supporters like to put it – it seems like he already ‘gets’ Everton. There are those who patronisingly claimed he would be too sophisticated for the club, yet his advocating of 4-4-2, direct, aggressive football, chimes with Goodison tradition. When I suggest such tactics – certainly when employed by English coaches – are considered archaic, he looks aghast. There is no winning system. If I have different players I could play a different system. “Football has changed a lot – more intensity, more tactical knowledge and the rules. How many teams build up from the back now? Nearly everyone. “If you want to play long balls and fight for the second ball, that is football. If you want to play catenaccio and counter-attack, it is football. “There are some managers who organise the teams for themselves, not the players, so people can say, “Look how well he organises the team”. “A team with a clear identity is a limited team. It means they can only play one way. But you must choose the right style by considering the quality and weakness of the opponent and the tradition of your club. If you become the manager of Madrid or Milan, they have a history which says play a particular style. Here there is a feeling if you can get it forward quickly and fight for the long ball, why not? “They like the ball long and then to fight. This is important. I said this to the players before the Man United game, "Put in some long balls to fight, keep the crowd involved". If you do that in the Nou Camp? No. Not possible. Here is different.” “Why?” “You tell me,” I respond. “There is more than one way to play football. I like all styles,” he says. Such pragmatism comes with experience. Ancelotti winces recalling how – as a young manager – he failed to sign one of the world’s great players because he prioritised the system. “When I started as a manager with Parma I sacrificed the chance to sign Roberto Baggio,” he says, with a self-critical chuckle. “I did not want him behind two strikers. He said he did not like the system so he signed for another club. When I went to Juventus and I had [Zinedine] Zidane who wanted to be the No 10, I said, “Okay, I change the system!” You adapt to the characteristics of the player. “There are some managers who will sacrifice quality and creativity for the system. I had Ronaldo at Real Madrid. With 4-4-2, Ronaldo had to be one of the strikers. But he does not like to play there. He likes to play wide. What do you do? Sacrifice Ronaldo who scores every game? So I said to Ronaldo, ‘When we have the ball go wherever you want. But please, when we do not have the ball, do not come back so much. Stay in the position to keep the shape’.” Despite three Champions League wins and domestic titles in Italy, England, Germany and France, Ancelotti’s career is not without lows. I must mention Istanbul in 2005, of course, when Ancelotti says Liverpool ‘stole’ the trophy from his AC Milan team. “I remember you using the time up in extra-time – going down for treatment twice,” he says. “I managed in the Champions League final in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014 – and the best we played was 2005 and we lost. This is football.” Ancelotti won his second European Cup as manager with AC Milan in 2007 – when they beat Carragher's Liverpool side in Athens CREDIT: AP More recently, his reportedly informal man-management style was questioned. “Not a lot of people can judge my job. They cannot see the training, look at methodology or see how I talk to the players, or how my relationship with the players is,” he says. “Maybe if you stand with me for two weeks you can judge me properly. For other people to judge is more difficult. “My style of training is completely different to 20 years ago because I continued to learn. Football has changed. I was assistant to Arrigo Sacchi for three years. He was an innovator, first with the philosophy of training but also tactically. The Italian team used to defend backwards, he changed it so they defended forward. But the offside rules were completely different then. “When I joined Chelsea in 2009 it was a completely different style of training. I tried to combine it, not separating technical, tactical and physical training as I was used to in Milan. I needed to bring it altogether.” Ancelotti won the league and FA double at Stamford Bridge, where he returns this weekend for the first time since his sacking in 2011. There are no grudges. He is held in the highest regard by those he managed and is impressed by Frank Lampard's work. On the day Ancelotti was sacked – coincidentally after a game at Goodison Park – his players insisted he join them for a farewell dinner. “All the squad was there,” he recalls. “I knew it was going to be the last game and I had friends from Italy over. On the bus home, the players knew I was sacked and Ashley Cole said we must go out. I said no because I had ten friends visiting. We are having dinner at my house. “But Ashley was, ‘No, no, they must all come. I will send you a bus’. So he sent a minibus to get us. It was unforgettable. “I remember every day I was at Chelsea. It was a good time, a fantastic period with fantastic staff and unbelievable players. “I had and I still have a good relationship with Roman Abramovich. He gave me the chance to manage in England and it was one of the best teams I ever managed.” Can he really hope to replicate that at Everton? “In the last two games against Arsenal and Manchester United we competed well,” he says. “We made mistakes – sometimes tactical and sometimes we lacked a bit of personality – but I am sure it will not take a lot of time before we always compete with the top teams.”
  2. Just a quicjk thank you for what has been said to me recently i appreciate it all i am out of the hospital now and i hope to stay out for a while now and also i want to thank the folks who sent me birthday wishes too thanks to you all i anm so proud to be a toffee COYB
  3. I just thought I’d drop a message out given the current circumstances of what we are all going through right now. During this time of isolation if there’s anyone who during this period of isolation feels they are struggling, alone or just feel that need a chat, drop a pm at any time and we can organise something. Lots of love to everyone 💙💙
  4. OK so a lot of it over the years has been complete drivel () but @Romey 1878 has today become the first to post 50,000 times on TT!
  5. Another update. Lucas has been discharged. Diagnosed with bronchiolitis as suspected. Have to keep him warm and fluids up whilst he is fighting it as there is no medication available for it. Have to say the staff at Whiston hospital were great. A&E was virtually empty as people are finally staying away when there is nothing really wrong with them.
  6. My son made 6 years old today. I’m so thankful for a healthy and happy son, I love him. Thankful for the wife and daughter too, but today is his day. Lots of Pokémon gifts and a razor scooter, even got some cupcakes delivered in the lockdown. Simple day but joy filled. Very grateful.
  7. Pass on our thanks for what she and her colleagues are doing.
  8. Is this now our longest unbeaten period for a good few seasons?
  9. Tremendous gratitude to Ferguson and Ancelotti for how they have worked with Dom and improved him into the player that we see today, it wasn't 6 months ago that my opinion of him was that he was a decent striker, but never going to be good enough for a team wanting to play consistently in Europe - nor Everton in the long term. He has come on leaps and bounds this season, seems to have bulked up and become that bit more aggressive. Bullying defenders week in and week out whilst having the end product to score goals - the bread and butter for any striker wanting to make it big in the professional game. Just my opinion of course, but the fact he has gone from "take him or leave him" to a key figure in our long term plans is fantastic, and long may it continue. People seem to forget that the best signings you can make are internal, tying Mason and Calvert-Lewin down to long term deals is some of the best business we will do this season.
  10. “Maldini won a Champions League when he was nearly 40 – so Leighton has time to win the Champions League.” Love it
  11. I’m so glad I was chosen. They really are a horrible club - we may never have their trophies but at least we’ll never have their shame. The few fans of other clubs that wouldn't have minded them having the league given to them if the season can’t conclude will be changing their minds pretty quickly I reckon.
  12. I'm not usually politically vocal but the coronavirus and the government's appalling handling of it all has made my blood boil. Essentially as it stands the nhs workers are being told to risk their lives because they aren't valued by our government. Plain and simple. They have downgraded the severity of the disease in order to ensure they can't be prosecuted for not providing the correct level of protection. Great Ormond street hospital has 8 covid patients and have 10 times as many staff who have tested positive. This disease is being caught and spread due to nothing less than manslaughter..... before long there will be no healthy staff to look after patients. Stay inside everyone. It really is getting horrendous.
  13. [[edited version]] My oldest son is an ICU nurse at a major hospital in a large US metro area, and he's telling me all kinds of anecdotes. I'm very proud of him, though, because he's working at least 12 hours every day of the week right now (and so is his girlfriend). He's surprised at the number of younger people being admitted to ICU. It seems young adults are partying in their basements and spreading the virus, not realizing this virus is no respecter of persons. One lesson my son keeps repeating: This virus is not only a danger to older people; it's a danger to everyone. In the US, if you don't have a full-time job then you won't have medical insurance. One visit to a doctor, if it requires tests or, heaven forbid, a hospital bed, could bankrupt you if you have no insurance. This means that many continue working when they are sick, even knowingly sick, because they can't risk losing that job. If they don't have a job, then they can't afford to see a doctor. Every time my son calls he tells us to stay indoors. In practice, I walk the neighborhood two or three times a day and stay a good distance from others, but he even chides me for that. I suppose it's because he sees first-hand, almost every minute of his waking hours, patients who are fighting for their lives. One of these is the head of the hospital's respiratory department. Just three weeks ago, this guy asked my son whether he'd be willing to work on the virus task force, and today my son insists on working at the ICU every day in part in an effort to save this man's life. Yesterday, one of the patients, terrified, tried to rip off the tubing and ventilator to which he was attached. As my son struggled to stop him, the exhaust from the ventilator was being pumped onto his face. Multiply such incidents by the number of hospitals across our countries and you soon realize that medical personnel are special and rather selfless people. The point is: this is serious, whether you're young or old; hospitals are being overwhelmed; medical staff are real heroes; the US healthcare system will be proved to be in desperate need of change. I'm also proud of my older daughter. She's what they call here a physician assistant, which is who you get to see when you visit a walk-in medical clinic. She's seeing patients when they first demonstrate symptoms, and she too is working much longer hours right now in another, more rural, part of the country. The infection rate is picking up there as well.
  14. Not to mention the 750,000 who have volunteered to help out; shouldn't be needed really but they deserve recognition as well.
  15. Horrific times for people going through cancer treatment (wearing my Macmillan hat); some being told that chemo is too risky due to the damage to the immune system and some having radiotherapy periods reduced from 6/7 weeks to four because of the risk of going to hospital. People are dying from covid but people will also die from insufficient cancer treatment due to it.
  16. If you're proposing a supra-national type of body that would provide an institutional framework where member-countries could agree common high standards for Food Safety, I'm all for it Paul 😉
  17. My missus is nhs, but she’s lucky enough to be working from home as she’s not patient facing anymore. Her colleagues are having a nightmare. We are in crazy times and we’ve all just got to get through and support everyone around us. Particularly the health service. At times like this we can all be thankful for the nhs, it’s not perfect but it’s better than most others have got. It’s the single most important institution we’ve got, and we should all be immensely proud of it (I’m sure each of us are).
  18. He’s arguably been our best player the last three seasons and we would have been right in the shit without him. Yes he makes his share of errors but he makes many more incredible saves. If - somehow - we really could get Donnarumma for not not much that would be amazing, but he would still have to settle into a new culture and country right and perform right out the gate to dislodge Pickford.
  19. Have already been told to expect a delivery tomorrow - bottle of single malt! Good chance of a second glass.
  20. Neil Lennon saying that Celtic should be given the league title in Scotland if the thing doesn't complete. Rubbish. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51875701 We've been done over by two World Wars, where we were champions but couldn't defend; and then in terms of European stuff by the ban in 1985. About time they got something taken away from them, I'd love it.
  21. I don’t think we should have accepted it. We should have took it further and made more of a point of the disgrace of a decision.
  22. Crap times for all of us so how about a new thread with positive stuff? Anything is good. For me today I went out for a walk and saw a "blue plaque" in the village that I'd not seen before; googling says it was only unveiled last year (non Brits will probably need to google "blue plaque") and the woman that it recognises has only a very small Wikipedia page. My great grandfather has a hugely bigger Wiki page but no blue plaque so it's become my lifes' work to get him one; anyone can nominate; and I know where he lived because my mum moved in with him when her dad died when she was five. When it happens I'll post photos of my smug face stood in front of a house that celebrates the peak of my familial brain, it's been downhill ever since.
  23. Currently actually listening to a lot of my own music. Ego? Sure Some good news tho, got my first solo single coming out on the 10th April. Yay me! (will be available on most streaming sites including Spotify, Deezer, iTunes and Apple Music) Want to hear some of my stuff? (shameless plug)
  24. Steve - Every single person working in the medical profession (home and abroad) and are helping to deal with this have my thanks, pride, admiration for everything they’re doing. From the smallest cog to the biggest cog. They are heroes and are the only ones that deserve those platitudes during all this. I can only speak about the politicians here but I refuse to thank any of ours, the good work of the NHS workers is in spite of the obstacles put in their way by those politicians. So when I see Conservative politicians joining in in that applause for those heroes, it boils my blood. Not long ago they cheered when they voted down increasing their pay. They can fuck off, because it’s those politicians that will be directly responsible for many more deaths than was necessary. I don’t know how they sleep at night and I don’t know how anyone is giving them an ounce of praise.
  25. In any other industry if you sent or gave someone a job to do and you didn’t supply them with PPE and they died, you would more than likely be facing a corporate man slaughter charge and rightly so.
  26. Complete and utter disregard for human life. They had months to prepare for this. They downgraded the required levels of PPE because they never had correct supplies. Surgical masks??? They needed to be FFP3 masks with filters. Disgusting.
  27. trump has blamed the lack of facemasks on Obama!!!! the orange douche has got to go
  28. I’d like to see another season ( if it happens ! ) where Carlo can bolster the defence and get to see what Pickford is really about and if he is as solid as we all want
  29. Goalkeepers look better when you're not seeing them week after week. You don't see their little issues they have when you're not a fan of their club and only watch them sporadically. When Howard was coming towards the end of his time with us fans of other clubs still thought he was brilliant for us. But we knew he was well on the downward curve but looked excellent at doing star jumps. Even when he was at his peak they didn't know he was beaten regularly from distance but we did. Henderson, or whoever else you want to name as being better than Pickford, will have issues and negative points to their game as well but you'll only find them out if/when they sign for us and then you'll moan about those things too.
  30. Yeah, and i like him, but he’s done it for one season. This is the last position we need to look at for a starter.
  31. We have at our club in Pickford one of the best young keepers in the country if not Europe, and most are looking to see who will be his best replacement as if he’s going to be sold some time soon. I can’t see it myself we have 5-6 other area's that need sorting out before we start looking at our keeper 🤷‍♂️
  32. But it’s been happening here for years, and selling them doesn’t happen. It’s all well and good saying if they are crap sell them, but who do you sell them to? Who would buy them after seeing them be crap? There is a reason Sandro, Niasse and Martina are all still at Everton.
  33. Not mine. I posted prior to the postponement announcement was made. Granted it was close (and obvious which way the wind was blowing), but I still got in there just in the nick of time. If my prediction does not stand it will be one of the biggest cases of injustice in the history of football. In fact, I believe the Daily Mirror have already started a 'Justice For Heath' Twitter campaign.
  34. They've banned handshakes at the beginning of rugby games, too.
  35. Congratulations @Romey 1878, time to head on outside now 😎. A top bloke in all seriousness, introduced me to a ton of class bands back in the Last.FM days and someone who has been synonymous with Toffee talk as I've drifted in and out of activeness. Here's to another 50k!
  36. If he was half the player Gana was I would sign him tomorrow, sadly he isn’t fit to lace his boots so I would pass on the option of signing him and take a chance on Jonjoe
  37. But but But Usmanov has nothing to do with Everton.... just cos he is Moshiris partner, sold his shares in Arsenal, has sponsored finch farm, has sponsorship all over goodison, has paid £30m for first option on naming rights for Bramley Moore, has now got his family in at the club............ it doesn't mean anything.....😂
  38. This isn't "misconduct" though?
  39. Because people are idiots and instead of buying what they actually need they buy way too much. Same as the people who lose their minds when the shops close for one day over Christmas and they buy as if they need to fill a bunker.
  40. I’m for VAR in theory but it just seems like Premier League make it up as they go along. The lineman and ref gave the goal and then it was disallowed by VAR. They keep saying that they’ll back the ref and only overturn clear and obvious errors. This wasn’t clear and obvious in that it’s down to the interpretation of ‘in the field of view’. So it should have stood. Add this to the blatant penalty on Siggy 5 seconds prior that in my opinion they didn’t review at the time but later said they did when asked by the Everton interested media. I say they didn’t review it as at the ground there was no ‘checking for penalty’ VAR screen only ‘checking goal’ (& that it was such a clear goal that a blind man with patches over both his eyes at night could have seen it). It’s alright though, it’s only little old Everton.
  41. Could be another piece of the Jigsaw in the team to fill the new stadium. A very good age to sign him, so we can have eight good years out of him.
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