Rio Ferdinand claims key area Carlo Ancelotti must address to improve Everton
Rio Ferdinand, while speaking on his YouTube channel, has claimed that Carlo Ancelotti must invest in strengthening Everton’s depth in order to make the Goodison Park outfit consistent top-six challengers.
The Blues started the season on fire with four wins in their first four games and maintained a place on the cusp of the European positions, but head into the final four fixtures eighth in the standings and six points adrift of fifth-placed West Ham.
A run of four matches without a win earlier in the campaign and six games between March and April paved the way for the Toffees’ decline, which was not helped by a raft of injuries that led to several academy talents being named on the bench at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Everton could still qualify for the new UEFA Conference League which is set to be introduced next term, should they end the campaign as the highest-ranked Premier League side not to qualify for the Champions or Europa League, which would currently go to seventh place.
Qualifying for the Conference League may be considered a failure by some after the early-season promise shown by Ancelotti’s men, but Ferdinand is adamant that the foundations are in place for better things so long as Everton invest in the right areas this summer.
“No, not a failure. I still think he knows that he needs to invest. I think he’s building a very decent team. He’s got a good team,” the Manchester United icon said.
“His first XI are good. I just think around that he needs to improve and add one or two into that first XI, as well. I think the investment is the key for them. If he can get investment in that team, then I think they are onto a good thing with him.”
Everton’s need for greater depth and quality in key positions has been clear to see in the way that Ancelotti has struggled to maintain results while dealing with the absences of players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Toffees have only taken all three points in one of the five Premier League fixtures that Calvert-Lewin has been forced to sit out this season, while also scoring just four goals and failing to find the back of the net against relegation-threatened Fulham and Brighton.
Ancelotti’s engine room also often appears overrun without Doucoure’s boisterous box-to-box presence, while Andre Gomes’ performances have been inconsistent and Gylfi Sigurdsson can be left wanting in a deeper role to leave Allan with little protection.
Everton will need to address those issues in the off-season and, like Ferdinand claims, must invest in adding numbers behind the starting line-up as well as those one or two stars who can take the Blues to another level.