Journalist Greg O’Keeffe has revealed that both Carlo and Davide Ancelotti admire Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson.
What did O’Keeffe say?
Discussing the topic in The Athletic’s Everton mailbag, the reporter provided some insight into their relationship after being asked what the Ancelotti’s think of Ferguson.
“Both are on record about their admiration for Ferguson. While he was frustrated at the limitations placed on his involvement under previous managers, such as Ronald Koeman and Marco Silva, the Ancelottis have increased the scope of Ferguson’s role and value his input highly.”
He later added: “They are also aware of how respected he is by the senior squad, and the influence he has had on players emerging through the academy, given his previous involvement with the under-18s et cetera.”
What influence has Ferguson had on up-and-coming players?
The former Everton player has reportedly played a huge role in the development of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Ferguson has always been around the England international since he was first introduced to the first team as a teenager.
Calvert-Lewin has scored 19 goals across all competitions for Everton in what has been his most prolific season to date. The striker himself has highlighted Ferguson’s impact on the Super 6 Podcast, as quoted by The Athletic.
“Big Dunc has been the best possible mentor. He was with the first team when I joined as a 19-year-old and he is still there now, so he has been behind the scenes with me from the start to now,” he shared.
“I had the No 9 shirt at the start of the season. When he became the manager, he made me feel like the No 9. It was the confidence boost that I needed.”
How important is Ferguson to Ancelotti?
The Scot’s role at Goodison Park is clearly paying dividends, as Calvert-Lewin has emerged as one of the Toffees’ top performers this season.
Ancelotti has a fantastic tactical mind but having somebody like Ferguson around the training ground will be hugely beneficial for the Italian.
Quoting Davide, O’Keeffe explains that Ferguson works individually with players, especially strikers, which makes sense considering his larger-than-life personality.
Of course, the other added bonus for Ancelotti is Ferguson’s inner knowledge of the club as both a player and a coach. Understanding the idiosyncrasies of the Goodison setup has surely been a factor in Ancelotti settling in so quickly.
Everton’s next manager in waiting?
It’s rare a manager lasts more than a few years at a club these days, but in Ferguson Everton may already have Ancelotti’s perfect successor.
When Silva was relieved of his duties in December 2019, Ferguson took charge of the team on an interim basis for a total of four games – so he already has some experience of what it’s like in the hot seat.
During this time, the Toffees were undefeated in the Premier League, as they beat Chelsea and drew with Arsenal.
And having now worked closely with one of the best managers of all time in Ancelotti, one can only assume Ferguson is even better equipped to manage the Toffees than he was during his short spell in charge.
It feels almost inevitable that Ferguson will go on to take the Everton job on a permanent basis.