Liverpool news New Everton reality laid bare as Ancelotti demands pose new questions MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Job done at Goodison but new standards are expected at Everton these days
Breaking News ! A much-changed Everton side ticked something else off Carlo Ancelotti's to-do-list when ensuring a safe passage into the next round of the League Cup. Picking his team for the next league game. The Everton boss made 10 changes for the visit of Salford City tonight and you'd fully expect him to make them all back again for when West Bromwich Albion show up on Saturday lunchtime. Not because he isn't satisfied with this deserved 3-0 victory, which booked a place in round three of the Carabao Cup next week – the Blues controlled the game, had over 30 attempts on goal and restricted their League Two opponents to just one shot on target – but because they didn't do more. Read More Related Articles Everton player ratings as Gordon stars and Sigurdsson sends message Read More Related Articles Everton rethink silences transfer concern as Carlo Ancelotti uncovers answer to defensive dilemma One thing that sounded loud and clear following Sunday's win over Tottenham Hotspur was that standards in the squad have risen. And as consequence it is going to be tougher than it was to force your way back into the starting XI for a league game. Not even being part of a comfortable home win in the cup will cut it at the moment. Ancelotti 's selection delivered the main objective here, and did so with room to spare, they played well in periods, handled a potentially tricky tie and created chances. Job done. But did they play well enough to change Ancelotti's thinking for the weekend? It seems very unlikely. Sign up to our free EFC newsletter for all the latest transfer news Why should I sign up? Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are looking to kick on and another crucial summer is underway at Goodison Park. Marcel Brands will be a busy man as he looks to strengthen Everton's squad in the transfer window. Sign up to our EFC newsletter for all the best coverage of the Toffees from Phil Kirkbride, Adam Jones and the rest of the ECHO team. You'll get breaking transfer news, analysis, rumours, live coverage and much more. Head of Sport Dave Prentice will also be sending a bespoke weekly newsletter with his thoughts on the Toffees and more. How do I sign up? It's free, easy and takes no time at all. First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre. Once you're there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the Everton FC newsletter. There are other ones too if you want them as well. When you've made your choice, press the Update Preference button at the bottom. That's it! Your emails will come through to your inbox from that moment on.
Few of the squad's fringe players staked a claim. Sure, the manager will know he can rely on them but that may be about it for now, and based on his - albeit limited - track record in this competition with Chelsea, they will all get another chance next week when Everton head to Fleetwood Town in round three. But no sooner. It was evident that the message from the win over Spurs has been received because a team that included recalls for Tom Davies, Bernard and Theo Walcott, played with an urgency, tempo and intent from the off. But even after a comfortable victory, the task of breaking into the league team looks no easier. This group of players made relatively straight-forward work – though could've killed the tie sooner – of a situation that had the potential to be much more difficult but, as we saw in London, the expectations and demands of the manager have gone up. Ancelotti will need to see more than this to make him think twice about what is his strongest XI at present. Other than Michael Keane, who started this, his players for the next league were on the bench or resting up at home. Yet what will keep Ancelotti awake at night is the defensive headache caused by Jarrad Branthwaite's injury. The 18-year-old was handed a start this evening but was forced off just 25 minutes in after turning his left ankle and, in doing so, heightened the need for a new centre-back to be found.
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As it stands, Keane and Yerry Mina look like being the only fit senior centre-backs for the weekend's game. But the need for new left-back to replace Leighton Baines, who watched on from the stands this evening, has lessened. The growing feeling in recent weeks has been that the progression of Niels Nkounkou has reduced the need for Everton to try and find a solution in the transfer market and, after an excellent debut from the teenager, that belief will have only been strengthened. Anthony Gordon, in front of him, came alive in the second-half and finished the tie strongly, but Ancelotti has few question marks over his ability.
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He has questions over the ability of more senior pros to make an impact in the starting line-up: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott and Davies, for example. He also got a first, competitive, look at Jonjoe Kenny this evening. All played well, to varying degrees and impact this evening, but they can't believe they have done enough to trouble the first 11 names on the team-sheet. Keane, who headed home the opening goal from a Sigurdsson corner, is likely to be the only one to keep his place. What did you make of the performance? Have your say in the comments below Some who played here this evening may feel it harsh, given that they have been part of a good win, and helped steer the club into the next round of the League Cup, but that level of competition and those demands are what Ancelotti brings to Everton and will be what drives the Blues onto better. Even, after all these years of disappointment, in the League Cup.
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