Soccer News

Soccer-Ferguson hails Everton's Ancelotti capture after Arsenal draw

LIVERPOOL, England, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson ended his short tenure as Everton boss on a high note and welcomed the arrival of his more heralded successor Carlo Ancelotti after the trophy-laden Italian was appointed on Saturday.

The club’s former striker Ferguson had made a great impact since stepping in after Marco Silva was sacked following a 5-2 defeat by Merseyside rivals Liverpool, steering the Toffees through some rough waters with an unbeaten league record.

He made a dream debut with a 3-1 home win over Chelsea, followed by a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

He ended with a goalless stalemate at home to Arsenal on Saturday, an hour after Ancelotti was named boss, with the Italian watching on from the directors’ box.

Wednesday’s penalty shootout defeat by Leicester City in the League Cup could not dampen the mood at Goodison Park, with Ferguson making it clear he was looking forward to working under former Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich coach Ancelotti.

“It’s fantastic for the club for someone of that pedigree to come in at Everton,” the Scot told BT Sport after seeing his side dominate against Arsenal who named the club’s former midfielder Mikel Arteta as their new head coach on Friday.

“What he’s done in the game is incredible so I can’t wait to get started working with him. I’ll be here as long as the club want me here so I’ll be back on Monday.”

Ferguson said he had not spoken to Ancelotti yet.

“Hopefully we’ll chat tonight with a glass of red wine. If I give him a few bowls of red wine I might become co-manager or something,” Ferguson said.

Ancelotti, who won the Champions League twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid, left Napoli earlier this month after falling out with chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis.

He previously managed Chelsea, winning the Premier League and FA Cup in his first season in 2009-10, before being sacked after a trophyless second campaign. He has also won domestic league titles with Milan, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich.

But the 60-year old manager now faces a different sort of challenge as he aims to haul under-achieving Everton back into the top half of the Premier League and transform them into a club vying for European competition again.

Former England striker Alan Shearer was confident Ancelotti was capable of turning around Everton’s fortunes.

“I think it’s a great coup for Everton to have him,” Shearer told the BBC. “He’ll be able to attract players they wouldn’t be able to if Ancelotti wasn’t the manager.

“Look at Juergen Klopp (at league leaders Liverpool) and Pep Guardiola (at champions Manchester City). You hear about their man-management skills. That’s what makes them very good managers.

“Everton have that now in Ancelotti. You need to stroke a few egos from time to time and Ancelotti can do that.” (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing By Xxxx;)