Former Premier League forward Dean Ashton has suggested that Everton could sneak into the top four this year, and it’s all down to the influence of one man.
The Toffees are certainly in with a shout of making it into the Champions League spots this season, currently sitting just three points off Merseyside rivals Liverpool with two games in hand, they are on the verge of doing something they haven’t done since the 2004/05 season under David Moyes when, coincidentally, it was Liverpool who they pipped to seal that final spot.
And as heard on the talkSPORT Daily podcast (9:52), Ashton thinks that the influence of Carlo Ancelotti could be the thing that takes them over the top this campaign, having come so close to achieving it a number of times in the past:
“20 trophies in five different countries from Carlo Ancelotti. He knows what it takes and he clearly knows how to improve players. I think he can easily fire them into the top four.”
Do you honestly believe that Everton will qualify for a European competition this season?
Yes, anything is possible with Carlo
No, a bridge too far for this season
TIF Thoughts on Dean Ashton’s comments about Everton and Carlo Ancelotti
Ashton is certainly right when it comes to having that pedigree of getting the job done, so he should provide that X-Factor that the club has been missing in previous seasons under the likes of Roberto Martinez and Marco Silva, who whilst experienced themselves don’t quite compare to the likes of the Italian.
So there is no doubt that he has the experience to get the job done, but passing that onto the players, some of whom haven’t been in this position before, is a totally different matter. That is going to be the toughest part of the job for him, making sure his message gets across when the pressure is really on at the business end of the season.
He’s proven he can get them this far, but can he take them that one extra step?