Everton’s tactics under mister Carlo Ancelotti

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Ancelloti is one of the most succeful coaches on the planet. With an experience unrivalled by any coach currently working in the premier league. Since the rebirth of Everton under his commands I decided to dedicate this modest piece of article to him.

Find below the details of the Italian coach tactics in the following order:

  • Carlo ancelotti Bio
  • Everton’s tactics under Carlo Ancelotti
  • Ancelotti’s Training session example

Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti ( born 10 June 1959)is an Italian professional football manager and former player who manages Premier League club Everton.

Nicknamed Carletto,[11] Ancelotti played as a midfielder and began his career with Italian club Parma, helping the club to Serie B promotion in 1979. He moved to Roma the following season, where he won a Serie A title and four Coppa Italia titles, and also played for the late 1980s Milan team, with which he won two league titles and two European Cups, among other titles. At international level he played for the Italian national team on 26 occasions, scoring once, and appeared in two FIFA World Cups, finishing in third place in the 1990 edition of the tournament, as well as UEFA Euro 1988, where he helped his nation to reach the semi-finals.

As a manager, he has worked for Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Napoli and Everton, and has won domestic titles in Italy, England, France, Spain, and Germany.

One of the most celebrated managers in European football, Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton, his 10th club across five countries, just before Christmas in 2019.

He has won 20 trophies during his career and is one of only three managers to win the European Cup or UEFA Champions League three times, doing so twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid.

A versatile, creative midfielder in his playing days, Ancelotti won three Serie A titles and the European Cup twice, enjoying most of his success with Milan.

He was a key figure in Italy’s 1988 UEFA European Championship campaign, reaching the semi-finals, and was a member of the squad at the two World Cups either side, playing in Italy’s 2-1 third-place play-off win over England in 1990.

Ancelotti’s coaching career began as assistant to Arrigo Sacchi with Italy’s 1994 FIFA World Cup finalists, before he moved into club management with Reggiana and Parma, later taking over at Juventus and then Milan.

He spent seven-and-a-half years at San Siro, winning the UEFA Champions League twice and the Serie A title once before moving to Chelsea in the summer of 2009.

In his first season in England, Ancelotti became the first Italian manager to win the Premier League, and he also secured Chelsea’s first ever double as the Blues beat Portsmouth in the FA Cup final.

He oversaw a second-placed finish the following term before leaving Stamford Bridge the following season.

At the end of 2011 Ancelotti joined Paris Saint-Germain, and won the Ligue 1 title in his first full season at the club.

He swiftly moved on to take charge of Real Madrid in June 2013, lifting the Champions League again, before heading off to Bayern Munich and claiming the Bundesliga crown.

After a spell in his homeland with Napoli, whom he guided to a runners-up spot in the league, he returned to the Premier League with Everton.

He was appointed manager at Goodison Park on 21 December 2019 and his Blues finished 12th at the end of the campaign.


Everton’s tactics under Carlo Ancelotti

The Italian is known for a macro approach to tactics, generally picking a shape and coaching a style of play before leaving it to his players to work out the details and adapt accordingly on matchday. It is a style that has proved Ancelotti’s undoing in previous jobs, leading to plenty of cup runs but under-performance in the league, where the weekly grind requires more fine-tuning.

Ancelotti has switched to a 4-3-3 formation this season, abandoning the hybrid 4-4-2 of 2019/20 that occasionally became too flat and stale when in possession. With Allan at the base of a three-man midfield with options to his left and right, and with both wingers cutting inside to leave space for overlapping full-backs, there are now plenty of opportunities for vertical progressions.

Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman are instructed to advance simultaneously down the wings, Richarlison makes diagonal runs from the left to support Dominic Calvert-Lewin, James drifts into the number ten space, and Andre Gomes and Abdoulaye Doucoure probe forward one at a time. Consequently their 4-3-3 rarely shows straight lines, helping to explain Everton’s free-scoring form and their 54.5% possession average.

One of the key moves we have seen so far this season is long diagonal switches out from James to the other side, with the Colombian making use of Digne’s late arrival, often unseen, into gaps vacated by Richarlison. The Everton winger proves distracting for opposition right-backs, and that has seen both his and Digne’s output increase.

Everton focuses play mainly on the right hand side of the pitch. Coleman acts as an inverted full back taking the place of Doucoure as he moves wider towards the flanks to support James. James moves a little central and Calvert-Lewin shifts a little right to cover for the space

The right side has undoubtedly been the most effective of the two. With Seamus Coleman being the last piece, they make positional rotations between them to disorientate the opposition defenders. When Coleman receives the ball, he immediately looks forward to his Colombian teammate to trade positions. Rodríguez drops towards the ball to receive and Coleman overlaps.

Everto are often more dangerous when the other team has the ball. Their counter-pressing was exceptional against Brighton, leading directly to two goals, with Graham Potter’s midfield constantly harassed as they tried to build out from the back.


That press was often absent last year, when Everton instead tended to drift back into a safe mid-block, but Ancelotti has changed tack this season primarily because of what new additions Doucoure and Allan add to the team. Now playing with a three-man midfield, Doucoure and Gomes (sat either side of Allan) are forming a very effective wall against opposition counters. This not only allows Everton to pen in their opponents, but it also means they are more effective in the pincer press, as witnessed in the 4-2 defeat of Brighton.

Allan has already become the fulcrum of the team. His technical ability under pressure is reducing the amount of mistakes Everton make in their own half, with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane now both comfortable moving out from the back with such a reliable out-ball always available. He also appears to have calmed Andre Gomes, who is yet to be shaken this season.

Ancelotti’s Training session example

The training is as publicized by Elite soccer in their interview with Carlo ancelotti

This session is based on tactical work, movement and patterns of play in the middle and attacking thirds of the field.

AreaUp to half-pitch
EquipmentBalls, cones, goals
No of playersFull squad
Session timeWarm-up – physical trainer 15mins, 10v10 game (two small goals) 15mins, Pattern of play 20mins, Phase of play 20mins, or Possession practice 10v10 20mins, Total 90mins

Players must concentrate on the technical and positional elements on this session if they are to make maximum use of it. They should build progressively on each element, taking through ideas and principles from each separate part of the practice.

It takes time for players to learn the fundamental parts of playing this formation, but the rewards are impressive, and all built around possession with a positive end result.

This session is based on tactical work, movement and patterns of play in the middle and attacking thirds of the field.

The session develops in the following order: game – technical/movement – phase of play – game.


What do I get the players to do?

This session is split up into a number of progressive set-ups, each rehearsing different positional and tactical elements contained within the 4-3-2-1 formation.

What are the key things to look out for?

Players must concentrate on the technical and positional elements on this session if they are to make maximum use of it. They should build progressively on each element, taking through ideas and principles from each separate part of the practice.

It takes time for players to learn the fundamental parts of playing this formation, but the rewards are impressive, and all built around possession with a positive end result.

We are very fortunate at PSG to have excellent training facilities. We use two pitches every day that run parallel to each other. This allows us to set up all the exercises before the start time and then to move quickly from one to another during that session, maximising time and intensity. It’s a good way to keep the players focused.

10v10 game with two small goals

• We begin with a possession exercise in formation, using two target goals placed at either end of a 45×55-yard area. Players work as they would do in any normal game, but they must retain a strict formation throughout. In this game, possession is used to generate goalscoring opportunities through intelligent passing and movement, plus positional play. We like to use possession exercises that are directional and have a clear aim. There are no offsides in this game, which is played for 15 minutes – we will practise five minutes using free passing, five minutes two-touch, then the final five minutes as one-touch.

Patterns of play – technical

The next set of exercises feature one striker, two advanced midfielders and one central midfielder, on a half-pitch. Their start positions are as shown in the diagram. Movement patterns are developed gradually, as outlined below.


Blind side run

1. The right midfielder creates space by running long to come short. He receives the pass from the central midfielder, then lays the ball long
2. The striker pulls away first, then makes a blindside diagonal run to receive a pass from the right midfielder, before shooting at goal


1. The left midfielder makes a diagonal run
2. The striker pulls off the shoulder and heads for the box
3. The right midfielder now has a choice of options


1. As before, but the striker this time looks to come and receive a ball to feet. At that last moment he allows the ball to run past him, and the left midfielder moves to receive
2. The striker positions himself for a pass into feet, and prepares to shoot at goal

Third man run

1. Here, two midfielders and the striker combine to produce a triangle passing combination
2. The left midfielder makes a well-timed forward, blindside run in order to receive a pass from the right midfielder

Phase of Play Practice (10v9 plus a keeper)

Players on the attacking team of 10 look to score in the goal, while defenders must penetrate the dotted line, but only by passing to a team mate who receives the ball when already beyond that line.

• Blues, with a one-man advantage, build from the back. Looking initially to construct an overload in midfield, attackers then combine with team mates using the movements in the ‘Patterns of play – technical’ exercise. Attackers must ensure they maintain balance when attacking in order to prevent counter-attacks.

Possession Practice – 10v10 in 60×55-yard area

• Teams line up 4-3-2-1 against 4-3-3. The aim of the practice is for teams to build play with the clear aim of penetrating the end line with a pass to an onrushing team mate. The final pass cannot be made until the ball has gone over the halfway line (this prevents a ‘long ball’ mentality), and offsides are in play from the end lines.

10 v 10 game

• We conclude with game – 10v10 plus keepers. Offsides apply as normal. In a tight playing area, all aspects from the previous practices should be applied to this game situation.

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