Everton can owe much of their failures over the last few years to the likes of Rafa Benitez and Frank Lampard, for their managerial shortcomings. However, they would not have even been in that position had Carlo Ancelotti not jumped ship.
Brought in following the disappointing tenure of Marco Silva, few could understand how Farhad Moshiri had managed to tempt the legendary Italian tactician to Merseyside, especially given their mounting financial issues.
In the end, despite making clear progress under his leadership, the allure of a return to Real Madrid proved too much, and the 64-year-old would waste no time in making his decision.
Since then, the Toffees have been embroiled in relegation dogfights, whilst the former AC Milan ace instead won the Champions League in 2022, justifying the move.
However, even though the Merseyside outfit may be one of the weaker teams on his CV, that does not excuse the comments made recently by sections of the Spanish media.
One journalist, Javier Rubiano, even lambasted his comments following Los Blancos’ draw with Rayo Vallecano, noting: ‘Real Madrid is not Everton.’
He would then state that such a notion was ‘surprising’ coming from a man of Ancelotti’s stature, and that his conduct must alter given he manages ‘the most demanding club in the world’.
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How good was Carlo Ancelotti at Everton?
Although he only spent 18 months at Goodison Park, it marked some of the best times in recent history, with the football exciting and the progression clear to see.
Bringing James Rodriguez to the club marked a particular high point, with the Colombian superstar thriving for the first half of the 2020/21 season in which they would find themselves second at Christmas.
They were bulldozing teams in the early parts of that campaign, and under his steady stewardship, the shift in mentality was clear to see, with wins on the road against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and even Liverpool.
Although results may have tailed off at the back end of the term, Evertonians were left with lasting memories of the positivity his tenure brought, rather than the weak ending.
As such, it is frustrating to see Rubiano use that period to insult Ancelotti, who remains one of the game’s greatest-ever managers.